Trick or treat - Deepstash
Trick or treat

Trick or treat

Halloween seems to bring out excesses in costumed children and adults.

Several studies revealed that costumed children who were anonymous — by wearing masks for instance — were more likely to take extra candies. In adults, costumed Halloween celebrators tend to have higher blood alcohol readings than people in plain clothes.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Trick or treat: The psychology of Halloween and horror movies

The 'dark factor'

A love of horror movies is associated with an underlying dimension of entertainment preferences, dubbed "the dark factor".

Those with dark tastes value intensity, edginess and rebellion. Their personalities lean towards risk-taking, antagonism, imagination, and tough-mindedness.

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The pleasure paradox

Some derive enjoyment from negative emotional states, as when enjoying a "good cry", for instance.

A study found that people who liked sad films enjoyed a scene relative to how much sadness it elicited. The stronger the sadness, the higher the enjoyment.

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RELATED IDEA

Why some people savor scary movies, and others hate them
  • The Excitation Transfer Process. How you feel AFTER the movie.  When watching frightening films, the heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increases. After the film, the physiological arousal lingers. If you had fun with friends, these positive emotions are intensified. If you did not enjoy the company, negative feelings are intensified.
  • People are wired differently. About 10 percent of the population enjoys the adrenaline rush.
  • Novelty. Everyone pays attention to anomalies in our environment.
  • Gender Socialization. Men often like [scary films] as date movies because women are more likely to seek physical closeness when they’re scared, and men can show off their strength and bravery.
  • Some people enjoy the adrenaline rush of being scared while being safe.

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Primary factors that make horror films alluring
  • Tension - Generated by suspense, mystery, terror, shock and gore.
  • Relevance - The horror film may relate to personal relevance, cultural meaningfulness, the fear of death, etc. 
  • Unrealism -The fictional nature of horror films affords viewers a sense of control by placing psychological distance between them and the violent acts they have witnessed.

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The Horror Movie

Horror is a genre that has a reputation of being a low, somewhat trashy, titillating genre that appeals to our basest instincts. 
"Its also a wonderful, popular art form through which very complex ideas and creative techniques can manifest themselves—and if you can get past that very cliched view, you realize there’s an embarrassment of riches in the genre.” Malcolm Turney

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