Why do we enjoy being scared?

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X
Why do we enjoy being scared?

Some people say they enjoy being scared, while others will protest doing anything that makes them jump.

On average, males typically like horror movies more than females, but this doesn’t mean that men are any less scared once the film gets rolling.  Men over-exaggerate how much they like horror movies, while women over-exaggerate how much they dislike horror movies.  In reality, both reacted about the same to scary points in the movie.

One in three people would prefer to completely avoid seeing scary flicks.  For them, there’s no redeeming value to stories that leave them frozen with fear.  The same can be said for Haunted Houses.  Even though people enter knowing there’s no real threat inside, the average person is still scared of monsters jumping out, or loud noises being played.  Someone will jump and scream, but then immediately start laughing and smiling.  This is because we are naturally wired to react to scary situations whether or not we know it’s just pretend.

Some people have a need to expose themselves to sensations that are different from the routine.  Horror movies may be unpleasant, but individuals often derive gratification because the experience is different.   Our exposure to scary films plays a big part in whether or not we like to be scared.

Fear is all around us.  In every city, every country, and every culture there are monsters that would terrify even the most courageous thrill-seekers.  Why do some brains enjoy fear?  Why do people seek the unsettling, heart-pounding, terror-filled, hair-raising feeling that is fear?  Maybe it’s just because there’s no feeling in the world, no emotion that can be compared, or nothing that can make you feel more alive, then being absolutely terrified.

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