The Psychology of Horror

The Psychologist hat einen sehr schönen, umfassend und trotzdem gar nicht mal so langen Artikel darüber, warum wir gerne Horrorfilme ansehen und welche psychologischen Trigger die so auslösen. Ich zitiere mal nur das Intro, Ihr solltet aber echt das komplette Ding lesen, das wird noch sehr viel interessanter.

Fear coils in your stomach and clutches at your heart. It’s an unpleasant emotion we usually do our best to avoid. Yet across the world and through time people have been drawn irresistibly to stories designed to scare them. Writers like Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker continue to haunt the popular consciousness. Far longer ago, listeners sat mesmerised by violent, terrifying tales like Beowulf and Homer’s Odyssey.

‘If you go to your video store and rent a comedy from Korea, it’s not going to make any sense to you at all,’ says literature scholar Mathias Clasen based at Aarhus University, ‘whereas if you rent a local horror movie from Korea you’ll instantaneously know not just that it’s a horror movie, but you’ll have a physiological reaction to it, indicative of the genre.’

Fresh from a study visit to the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Clasen believes the timeless, cross-cultural appeal of horror fiction says something important about humans, and in turn, insights from evolutionary psychology can make sense of why horror takes the form it does. ‘You can use horror fiction and its lack of historical and cultural variance as an indication that there is such a thing as human nature,’ he says.

The lure of horror – Christian ‘Jeepers’ Jarrett with a Halloween special, on the intriguing insights into our psyche offered by scary stories (via Mindhacks)