Monsters Evolve: A Biocultural Approach to Horror Stories

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Monsters Evolve : A Biocultural Approach to Horror Stories. / Clasen, Mathias.

In: Review of General Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2012, p. 222-229.

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Harvard

Clasen, M 2012, 'Monsters Evolve: A Biocultural Approach to Horror Stories', Review of General Psychology, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 222-229. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027918

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Author

Clasen, Mathias. / Monsters Evolve : A Biocultural Approach to Horror Stories. In: Review of General Psychology. 2012 ; Vol. 16, No. 2. pp. 222-229.

Bibtex

@article{bfb131ec2a1848b6b6278006d6adf9a7,
title = "Monsters Evolve: A Biocultural Approach to Horror Stories",
abstract = "Horror fiction is a thriving industry. Many consumers pay hard-earned money to be scared witless by films, books, and computer games. The well-told horror story can affect even the most obstinate skeptic. How and why does horror fiction work? Why are people so fascinated with monsters? Why do horror stories generally travel well across cultural borders, if all they do is encode salient culturally contingent anxieties, as some horror scholars have claimed? I argue that an evolutionary perspective is useful in explaining the appeal of horror, but also that this perspective cannot stand alone. An exhaustive, vertically integrated theory of horror fiction incorporates the cultural dimension. I make the case for a biocultural approach, one that recognizes evolutionary underpinnings and cultural variation.",
author = "Mathias Clasen",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1037/a0027918",
language = "English",
volume = "16",
pages = "222--229",
journal = "Review of General Psychology",
issn = "1089-2680",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Monsters Evolve

T2 - A Biocultural Approach to Horror Stories

AU - Clasen, Mathias

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Horror fiction is a thriving industry. Many consumers pay hard-earned money to be scared witless by films, books, and computer games. The well-told horror story can affect even the most obstinate skeptic. How and why does horror fiction work? Why are people so fascinated with monsters? Why do horror stories generally travel well across cultural borders, if all they do is encode salient culturally contingent anxieties, as some horror scholars have claimed? I argue that an evolutionary perspective is useful in explaining the appeal of horror, but also that this perspective cannot stand alone. An exhaustive, vertically integrated theory of horror fiction incorporates the cultural dimension. I make the case for a biocultural approach, one that recognizes evolutionary underpinnings and cultural variation.

AB - Horror fiction is a thriving industry. Many consumers pay hard-earned money to be scared witless by films, books, and computer games. The well-told horror story can affect even the most obstinate skeptic. How and why does horror fiction work? Why are people so fascinated with monsters? Why do horror stories generally travel well across cultural borders, if all they do is encode salient culturally contingent anxieties, as some horror scholars have claimed? I argue that an evolutionary perspective is useful in explaining the appeal of horror, but also that this perspective cannot stand alone. An exhaustive, vertically integrated theory of horror fiction incorporates the cultural dimension. I make the case for a biocultural approach, one that recognizes evolutionary underpinnings and cultural variation.

U2 - 10.1037/a0027918

DO - 10.1037/a0027918

M3 - Journal article

VL - 16

SP - 222

EP - 229

JO - Review of General Psychology

JF - Review of General Psychology

SN - 1089-2680

IS - 2

ER -