According to an American-Danish study, followers of apocalyptic films cope better with stress and their instinct for survival during a pandemic than ordinary people.
Regulate our emotions. Here’s what we would learn from horror movies in the long run. And especially those on zombies, like Walking dead or the living dead of The Dead Don’t Die by Jim Jarmush. This conclusion appears in a study by the academic journal Personality and Individual Differences published in early January, according to which followers of morbid films would have been better prepared for the Covid-19 health crisis.
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Carried out on a sample of 300 people by American and Danish researchers, experts and psychologists, the study asked a series of questions relating to personality, neuroses, extroversion, open-mindedness and consciousness, Coltan Scrivner, one of the researchers, explained in an interview with the newspaper The Indian Express . People were then asked about their favorite cinematographic genre (horror, romance, comedy, etc.). This survey showed that fans “Prepper genres – zombie, apocalyptic and alien invasion moviesHad been more psychologically resistant during the first months of the pandemic in the United States.
The right reflexes
As Coltan Scrivner explains, “Zombie appearances are almost by definition pandemics.” In both cases, creatures or viruses infect healthy people as they try to flee. As such, the survival techniques observed on screen are the same practicable in real life. For psychologist and Pennsylvania State University professor John Johnson, also author of the study, “fiction is not just an idle pastime. But a way of imagining simulated realities that subconsciously prepare us for future challenges“.
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Used to living the end of the world by proxy, they would thus have developed the right reflexes from the start of the crisis and the first confinement. “Some felt they knew what to buy to survive the pandemic, and the consequences did not take them by surprise”, continues Coltan Scrivner.
But then, should we really train to be afraid in order to better face our emotions? For psychologist Johnson, this study is not an incentive to watch horror and zombie movies. Even less for those who have not been prepared for it before. “I’m not sure watching such movies now is useful in our current situation», He concluded.