We buy horror collectibles online and watch films about dangerous viral outbreaks to live a vicariously thrilling experience. Whether it’s because we enjoy morbid entertainment, or simply as a form of escapism, scientists believe that horror fans are better equipped to handle the current state of the world. According to a recent study, when death and disaster come knocking at our doors, we possess the special inhibition of morbid curiosity which has left us more prepared to deal with the intensities, mentally and physically, of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s dive into this interesting avenue of research!
Horror fans rejoice, an inquiry conducted by the University of Chicago entitled, “An Infectious Curiosity: Morbid Curiosity and Media Preferences During a Pandemic” found that those who adorned movies and TV that featured flesh-eating zombies, attacks by aliens, and infectious diseases that change the ways of humanity, are far better at coping in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants of the study were gathered through the use of Prolific, an online recruitment tool that provides a diverse sample pool, high-quality data, and fair pay compared to other data collection platforms. Of the 126 participants, 62 were women, 64 were men, and their ages ranged between 18 and 73 years, with most falling between 18 and 50. The data was collected on March 22, 2020.
The test subjects were asked to complete two questionnaires, the Morbid Curiosity Scale and a Disgust Scale-Revised, where they answered questions about their interest in coronavirus, how threatened they felt by coronavirus, and reported their current interest (compared to usual) in six different genres of film and TV shows: scary/supernatural, mystery/thriller, pandemic/virus, romance, adventure/action, and comedy.
What was the result?
After a state of emergency was declared in mid-March by most countries worldwide, apocalyptic-type films surged in popularity as a response to the impact coronavirus has had on daily life. In that same time, borders shut down, flights ceased operations, and globally, citizens were told to stay home, unless there was a necessity to leave. However, while many people were panic buying and fearmongering, horror fans (who had previously spent time placing themselves into the perspectives of their favorite characters) were more prepared to deal with real-life emergencies and were also considered to be more resilient to in dealing with preparations and lock-down protocols.
Participants who were more likely to buy horror collectibles online because they’re partial to the horror genre appeared less upset by the crisis than the majority, and the ones who enjoyed films and TV shows where society collapses were ranked as more resilient and able to plan in terms of mental and practical preparation because they’ve seen it done a hundred times in movies, feeling less caught off-guard.
What are your thoughts on the above study? Drop a comment below before perusing to buy horror collectibles online and start a conversation.