Covid-19

People Who Enjoy Disaster Movies Have Mental Advantage Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Watching disaster or post-apocalyptic movies may help people cope well during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is according to a new study that looked into how viewers get practical and mental advantage from their favorite shows or films. 

Researchers said that movies and even books could help navigate real world situations through fiction. Imaginary narratives guide people in planning their actions or how they would react in dangerous situations.

"If it's a good movie, it pulls you in and you take the perspective of the characters, so you are unintentionally rehearsing the scenarios," Coltan Scrivner, a psychologist who specializes in morbid curiosity at the University of Chicago, told the Guardian. "We think people are learning vicariously. It's like, with the exception of the toilet paper shortage, they pretty much knew what to buy." 

The new study, published in PsyArXiv, explored how watching disaster movies helps people as the world faces a real health crisis. Researchers gathered 310 participants to watch movies relevant to the pandemic and detail their preparedness for real life challenges. 

The team also asked about their levels of anxiety, depression, irritability or sleeplessness. Results showed that the people who enjoy horror films had greater resilience during the pandemic, while those who frequently watched “prepper” genres, such as alien-invasion, apocalyptic and zombie films, exhibited both greater resilience and preparedness.

The films gave the same benefits even after researchers considered age, sex, affinity for movies and other personality traits. Participants who watched more frightening imaginary events appeared coping better in the coronavirus pandemic. 

Horror or disaster movie lovers function well despite the present threats of COVID-19 potentially because they absorb information on how characters act in the same situation. A film can give people an idea of what kind of social conflicts may occur amid chaos, which institutions can be trusted and what the world might look like if people act selfishly or cooperatively.

"Through a greater propensity to gather information about dangerous phenomena, morbidly curious individuals may accrue a larger repertoire of knowledge and coping strategies that would be useful in a variety of dangerous situations in real life," researchers said in the study. "Our findings add support to the idea that fiction can be a useful simulation of both specific scenarios."
Movies and COVID-19 A new study found that people who enjoy watching disaster or post-apocalyptic movies cope well with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

Loading...
Join the Discussion