Today’s Video of the Day from the Association for Psychological Science (APS) explains what makes recreational fear so compelling.
The researchers investigated the relationship between arousal and enjoyment associated with activities like visiting a haunted house or watching a horror movie.
The study revealed that recreational fear is the most entertaining when it triggers a physical response without becoming unpleasant or overwhelming.
“By investigating how humans derive pleasure from fear, we find that there seems to be a ‘sweet spot’ where enjoyment is maximized,” said study lead author Marc Malmdorf Andersen. “Our study provides some of the first empirical evidence on the relationship between fear, enjoyment, and physical arousal in recreational forms of fear.”
“If people are not very scared, they do not enjoy the attraction as much, and the same happens if they are too scared. Instead, it seems to be the case that a ‘just-right’ amount of fear is central for maximizing enjoyment.”
The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.
Video Credit: APS