Look out horror fans, we’re being studied! Apparently, scientists and psychologists have decided to try and determine the types of people that enjoy being scared. I’m no genius or anything (if you could see all of my spelling errors as I write this, you’d totally agree), but as far as I’m concerned, you either like to be scared or you don’t. It’s as simple as that! But to some Freuds and Einsteins of the world, there’s a lot more to it. What did they decide about us? Well, I’m glad you asked because I was going to tell you anyway!
One quality of horror fans that scientists have researched is empathy. According to them, horror fans tend to lack empathy towards others. Sorry scientists, but I’m gonna have to disagree on this one. I myself am extremely empathetic, and so is everyone I know that is into horror. While I thoroughly enjoy watching or reading about a fictitious person getting disemboweled after being chased by an immortal demon-thing, in real life, I hate to see bad things happen to people. But rip someone apart in a horror novel and I can’t read fast enough! Just because we horror fans enjoy the violence and gore, that doesn’t make us soulless, bad people. Granted, there are always going to be exceptions – some people do enjoy horror and serial killers because they admire and glorify the violence of it. But that’s definitely not the case for everyone.
Fans of horror are also supposed to be thrill-seekers. I don’t know if there’s an actual correlation or not, but I do agree with this to some extent. Thinking about my friend circle, most of them do love terrifying amusement park rides and haunted houses, but not all of them do! My daughter, a huge horror fan, absolutely refuses to go on any fast, thrilling rides.
Additionally, horror fans are also supposed to be aggressive. This is another point I disagree with. Everyone I have ever known, and definitely, everyone you have ever known has experienced aggression at one point or another, regardless of their preferred movie genre. Yes, there are some who experience aggression after consuming violent media, but for the most part, they don’t express it in a bad way. Again, there are of course some exceptions, but that’s in extreme cases. I honestly can’t tell you if watching nothing but horror movies and serial killer documentaries will make you more aggressive. You’ll have to ask the professionals and form your own opinions on this one.
All I learned from reading about this is that I disagree with the psychology community on this subject. (FYI – I have no psychology training whatsoever) Here are a few other little tidbits I learned:
- The majority of horror fans are women
- Horror fans are less likely to want children
- 40% are Millennials
- 50% are single
- The majority of them are into reading
- They are more likely to live in a city
- They are more likely to be gamers.