Like Watching Horror, Zombie, Post-Apocalyptic Movies? Science Says You're Better Equipped For Pandemics


Ever found yourself pretty much desensitized to the coronavirus pandemic? Or, maybe it seems oddly familiar? Chances are, you've seen how the whole thing has played out on movies like Contagion or Outbreak.

That's because—if you're a true blue post-apocalyptic movie fan—researchers say being morbidly curious has given you "greater resilience during the pandemic." Yup, all those hours you spent watching frightening fiction were actually beneficial.

A new study from the University of Chicago, Penn State, and Denmark's Aarhus University says pandemic movies essentially prepare you for the worst.

“We found that fans of horror films exhibited greater resilience during the pandemic and that fans of 'prepper' genres (alien-invasion, apocalyptic, and zombie films) exhibited both greater resilience and preparedness. We also found that [the] trait morbid curiosity was associated with positive resilience and interest in pandemic films during the pandemic,” the authors said.

What it means is you know more about what's happening and what to do, as compared to those who aren't horror fans. (We bet you stocked up on more important things rather than toilet paper like the others.)

“If it's a good movie, it pulls you in and you take the perspective of the characters, so you are unintentionally rehearsing the scenarios,” University of Chicago psychologist Coltan Scrivner told the Guardian. “We think people are learning vicariously. It's like, with the exception of the toilet paper shortage, they pretty much knew what to buy.”

That's interesting and all... but now that makes us wonder about people who love watching gory movies.

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Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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