Thriller: why do our brains allow us to enjoy being scared? | Dean Burnett

By: Dean Burnett | Thriller: why do our brains allow us to enjoy being scared? | Dean Burnett | Neuroscience | The Guardian

Halloween is a time when we celebrate horror, People enjoy being scared, even though they technically shouldn’t. It’s because our brains are confusing …

If you were to be presented with a scene of unimaginable gore, where several of your fellow-humans were being hacked to death and their entrails and vital fluids scattered liberally around the room, your immediate reaction would presumably be to run away from this horror, and try to find safety (assuming you weren’t busy vomiting). It would be a bit weird, alarming even, if you were to offer to pay to watch this scenario, possibly while eating popcorn or nachos (which may also lead to vomiting if taken to excess).

And yet, countless people technically do exactly that. The Saw franchise alone has grossed close to a billion dollars at the box office, and that’s just one series of horror films, just at the cinema. There are far more options and formats out there, all dedicated to presenting people with scenes of intense gore and/or fear. And people lap it up (not literally, that would be awful). The point is, there’s clearly a huge market for things which should logically scare or repulse us.

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