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why do people like to be scared

Whether its an alien bursting out of a mans chest cavity in Alien, a possessed Regan MacNeil bent over backward scurrying down the stairs in
The Exorcist or the sound of Freddy Kruegers knives against a metal railing, everyone has that one horror scene that curdles their blood. While some simply cant handle the feelings of fear that horror induces, others relish in it and cant get enough. And with Halloween not too far away, tis the season for fright-seekers to get their scare on and they cant wait. But what is it about being scared that appeals to people? READ MORE: Well, first of all, its not just any type of fear that people find amusing, its a controlled type of fear, Steve Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough, says. This means that as long as we know were in a safe environment while watching or partaking in scary events, then thats the type of fear we tend to like. If its a real-life situation that we have no control over (think a shooting scenario) then thats a type of fear we dont tend to like. None of us actually want to feel real fear, he explains. Real fear does have that overarching Im going to die and for most of us that can be extremely scary. So anyone who has been a part of a highly fearful situation would not generally walk away thinking it was fun. According to Joordens, the brain has two different modes: parasympathetic mode (which focuses on long-term survival, for example, digestion) and the sympathetic mode (which focuses on short-term survival).

Joordens explains that when people find themselves in a life or death situation, thats when our brain switches to the latter. Thats what gets our hearts beating, breathing hard and generally our mouth goes dry because our digestive processes are stopping, Joordens explains. And its all about fight or flight, getting oxygen to the muscles and making the muscles ready. It quite literally is exciting and that is the basic fear reaction, and what humans seem to really like is flirting with that. But when it comes to that controlled sense of fear where we know our lives are not in danger, thats the kind of spook we tend to like. The flirtation with fear is more when you can kind of put yourself in a situation where you get a version of those things happening but youre always aware of the fact that theres something some sort of wall between you and the actual life or death situation, Joordens says. When youre in a movie theyre always working things up, like something jumps out or theres a lot of gore, but you always know that youre watching a movie. So what that does is create those feelings that activation of excitement that builds up in you, and you cant wait to let it out, Joordens says.

You cant wait for that release, he says. So what makes these things fun is that when something scary finally happens, anybody who has that built-up tension tends to release it through laughter or screaming, but its ultimately safe and thats what allows it to be fun. Yet not everyone likes those feelings and it all comes down to personality, Joordens says. But its tough to pinpoint which personalities will enjoy these feelings and which ones wont, so its really up in the air. READ MORE: According to 2015 study out of, researchers found that when people expose themselves to frightful media, they do so because they tend to like putting themselves in the scenarios theyre watching and enjoy the feeling of surviving the fake experiences. I think we share fear experiences because it is something that connects us on a very primal level, co-author Teresa Lynch said in a statement. And lastly, the love of fear comes down to brain chemistry, specifically chemicals like dopamine. While dopamine is responsible for the feelings of accomplishment, a 2008 study by the also found that it is linked to emotions like fear and dread. But psychiatrist David Zald told Business Insider that people who tend to like scary things also have a difficult time regulating their brains dopamine release.

So in a sense, their brains tend to soak up dopamine for a longer period of time, meaning they tend to get more out of the experience because they end up with higher levels of the chemical. So there you have it fright seekers the explanation for your love of horror comes down to you being a slave to your bodys chemicals and biology, just like a zombie, no? 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Virtually everyone knows what it's like to feel really scared: A pounding heartbeat. Faster breathing. Nervous perspiration. Butterflies in the. But whether that fright is caused by watching a nail-biting horror movie, listening to a spine-chilling story, or prowling through a dark-as-night haunted house on Halloween, some people actually revel in feeling frightened. They thrive on the latest movie or Stephen King novel. They relish roller coasters, perhaps even sky diving. They crave having the bejesus scared right out of them. Of course, for the mere mortals among us who feel that we're liable to lose our lunch after just a glimpse of a slasher movie, it may seem unimaginable that others actually enjoy -button experiences. But experts believe that it's not uncommon for individuals to push the envelope, seeing how much fear they can tolerate, and ultimately feeling a sense of satisfaction when they're able to endure the.

What's the appeal of the fright associated with creepy stories? "There's a long history of people being intensely curious about the 'dark side,' and trying to make sense of it," says Frank Farley, PhD, at Temple University. "Through movies, we're able to see horror in front of our, and some people are extremely fascinated by it. They're interested in the unusual and the bizarre because they don't understand it and it's so different from our everyday lives. " For more than two decades, Glenn Sparks, PhD, has studied the way men, women, and children respond to terrifying images in the media. "Some people have a need to expose themselves to sensations that are different from the routine," he says. "While experiencing a frightening movie may have some negatives, individuals often derive gratification because the experience is different. " Several studies have shown that males like scary films much more than females do. "It's not that they truly enjoy being scared," says Sparks, professor of communication at Purdue University. "But they get great satisfaction being able to say that they conquered and mastered something that was threatening. They enjoy the feeling that they 'made it through. '" Quite commonly, at the end of the terrifying movie, an individual may walk out of the theater with a profound sense of relief, adds Sparks. "He may just be happy that the film is over. "

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