Benefits of being scared
BY wangxingwei from 21st Century
Published 2019-02-15
Watching horror movies can make us happier, according to a new study. CFP

Whenever we watch a horror movie and something scary happens, we might close our eyes and scream. However, chances are that we’ll continue to watch and enjoy the movie anyway. So why can fear be so much fun?

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in the US, watching horror movies can raise our mood, unite people and boost our confidence.

In the study, 262 adults were asked to enter a haunted house attraction. Inside, they were met with a series of intense scenarios over a course of 35 minutes, and were asked to record their feelings both before and after the experience. At the same time, the researchers also monitored their brain waves.

According to the researchers, the participants were more likely to be happier and less anxious and tired after they left the attraction. That’s because in this intense condition, their brains released more dopamine, a chemical which “generates a feeling of exhilaration that continues after the threat has passed,” reported Business Insider.

What’s more, taking advantage of this sensation may bring people together. According to The Conversation, experiencing the attraction is just like “running a 5 kilometer race or tackling a difficult climbing wall.” This means that people in scary situations are more likely to be uncertain and depend on others for support.

“We build a special closeness with those we are with when we’re in an excited state,” Margee Kerr, one of the study’s authors, told The Atlantic. “We’re social and emotional beings – we need each other in times of stress, so the fact that our bodies have evolved to make sure we feel close to those we are with when afraid makes sense.”
“当我们处于一种兴奋的状态下,我们会对身边的人产生一种特别的亲密感,”研究作者之一的玛吉·克尔在接受《大西洋月刊》采访时表示。“我们是有感情的群居生物 —— 我们在感到压力时都会需要彼此,所以当我们感到害怕时,久而久之我们的身体会令我们对身边之人产生亲近感,这点是有道理的。”

In addition, being scared in a safe place could be a good way to boost our confidence.

“Being scared in a safe place is a source of enjoyment and makes us feel good physically and can even serve as a confidence boost by reminding us that we can make it through a scary situation, we are strong,” Kerr told The Independent.

(Translator & Editor: Wang Xingwei AND Ji Yuan)
Haunted house  鬼屋
Scenarios  场景
Dopamine  多巴胺
Sensation  感觉
Tackling  征服