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Horror movies have become more popular than ever in recent years and with media becoming an all-consuming part of our daily lives, this study proposes to examine some of the factors that contribute to so many people choosing to attend films that aim to scare them. Five variables were chosen, based on previous studies on horror movie viewership, that would contribute to filling gaps in the existing literature. The Dark Triad traits of psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism were hypothesized as having a positive correlation with horror movie enjoyment and a lower physiological response during the viewing of a horror movie because of past research showing that low empathy and high senastion seeking are consistently correlated with horror movie enjoyment — two traits present in all Dark Triad personality types. Disgust sensitivity was hypothesized to have a negative relationship with horror movie enjoment and a positive relationship with physiological arousal during the viewing of horror films because of the presence of two common disgust triggers — envelope violation and death — common in horror movies. The relatively new identified trait of “everyday sadism” was predicted to have a positive relationship with horror movie enjoyment because everyday sadists enjoy seeing others in pain and distress — another common feature of horror movies. Gender, a common variable in past horror movie studies, was suggested to be re-examined and was predicted to have a negative relationship with horror movie enjoyment but positive correlation with physiological arousal. A questionnaire was developed for this study to assess the variables in question and whether they correlate with horror movie enjoyment and physiological arousal during the viewing of a horror movie clip.
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Hochswender, Katharine Miyajima Lynn, "Thrilled or Chilled: Exploring Factors Of Horror Movie Enjoyment" (2018). Senior Projects Spring 2018. 430.
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