Being afraid sucks. Right? Well if being afraid is such a drag, than why is it that the horror genre is so popular? People are paying to get the the sensation of fear, which, intuitively, that notions sounds ludicrous. I would like, very much, to research the horror genre and to look deeper into this behavior.

Fear is often associated with less than optimal circumstances and adverse mental affects. However it seems it cannot possibly be all bad. What exactly is it people get out of the fear experience that makes them want to pursue it? Perhaps there is a much more significant and possibly healthy effect caused by experiencing fear through a medium, than one would initially expect. It is something people must desire for a reason and I would like to know, in acute detail, why; and also, how it effects them.

Psychology of Fear by M. Adam Palmer

Background: This essay thoroughly delves into many aspects and facets of just what exactly fear is and the effects it can have on an individuals body and mind and just why exactly those effects occur and vary.

How I intend to use it: This is my starting point. Before delving into the potentially “theoretical” hipster articles about how people are masochists or something like that; I would prefer to establish a stable foundation based in reason. This essay goes into the scientific and statistical aspects of fear. This allows me to inform the reader more efficiently what exactly fear is. This essay also cites many other works that address this, which I intend to pursue to develop an even more sound foundation.

Observing a fictitious stressful event: haematological changes, including circulating leukocyte activation.

Background: Simply; watching horror films can boost your immune system. While I was unable to pursue this scientific research directly due to the fact it costs a hefty sum to view, which I do not wish to spend in case my topic pitch is denied, I was able to find other brief articles that reference the research. Article 1 and Article 2. These articles address that scientific research was performed which shows that there is a correlation between fictitious stressful events and increase in Leukocyte (white blood cell) performance.

How I intend to use it: This is already a significant counter intuitive point against the stigma of fear. This shows that there are in fact correlations between horror media and good health. If I do get green-lighted to pursue this topic, I hope this will be one of many points I will get to make that shows there is more to fear than simply adverse effects.

Why Are We Drawn to Horror Films?

Background: This article discusses desired effects one may seek from horror films. The writer herself claims she cannot get enough of them. She discusses how there are unique experiences to be had when one is not being emotionally connected to the frightening events and that it ignites imagination.

How I intend to use it: This interesting article discusses a fair amount of points about the appeal of the horror genre and the benefits that can be obtained from consuming it. I intend to use this article to offer some insight delivered by someone who seems to have a passion for the genre. An example of how and why it should be enjoyed.


Background: This article discusses the horror genre in respect to the Video Game medium. It talks about biological reasons players decide to endure a horror game and just what makes them want to keep coming back for more. It is also reflective on psychological and mental reasons for playing the games. Such as an immersive break from reality.

How I intend to use it: This article shows horror in a medium other than films and offers a broader perspective on the genre than if one were to simply use films as the only horror example. Playing a game is different from watching a film. It is even more intimate with the fear. The barriers between the true horror of it and yourself are close to non existent. This extreme sensation brings with it an essential fundamental perspective of why exactly one would not only view horror but would even to have a hand in it; and what one could get out of it and why.

The Lure of Horror

Background: Negative can be a positive to people, so says this article. It delves into what exactly makes horror so scientifically appealing in a cognitive sense and some of the subconscious desires it satiates. It also brings up that feeling fear can offer some very compelling insight into the psyche and make-up of the human mind.

How I intend to use this: This article is more science oriented but isn’t purely general like other sources. It focuses on the undeniable lure of horror for humans and why that is. This will be useful in giving a psychological example of just why it is normal and enjoyable for a human to enjoy horror, and just what exactly is going on subconsciously while doing so.

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4 Responses to Proposal+5—gemfhi

  1. davidbdale says:

    Tune in to WHYY 91 FM immediately, gemfhi, for a broadcast beginning at 11am on precisely this topic. (It’s popular at Halloween.) The author of a book titled Scream will discuss why we enjoy being “scared to death.”


  2. gemfhi says:

    Fear is often linked with horrific events and unfortunate circumstances of which reasonable individuals would actively avoid. However, fear without consequence is a consumer product. People actively pursue and pay for the sensation of fear through media such as film, video games, books, and haunted hay rides. While there is definitely a masochist demographic, there are other, perfectly mundane, reasons for viewing, and the desire to view, such content.


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