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Why Do We Like To Be Frightened?

Staff

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Last week we wrote about the top phobias that most people have, but this week, we want to focus on  why we like being frightened.  If we have these phobias, why do people pay so much money going to horror movies, haunted houses, and riding thrilling rides at amusement parks?   According to sociologist Margee Kerr, Ph.D., “w hen we’re afraid our bodies release different chemicals that can contribute to feeling good under the right circumstances.”

Knowing that we are safe, too, also plays a big part in the enjoyment of being frightened.  It’s all in how our brains work according to psychiatrist Kathrine Brownlowe.

“The frontal lobe is the thinking part of the brain. It’s the part of your brain that can modulate the more primitive response and tell you you’re OK right now,” Brownlowe told Healthline. “So if you’re in a situation like a haunted house and something jumps out at you or you hear a scary noise, your body goes into a fight or flight mode, but your frontal lobe still knows you’re safe and will calm you down, allowing the situation to be more pleasurable.”

“It’s like your brain is at the edge of danger, but it knows it’s not actually at risk,” she explained.

So now you know why we enjoy that scary movie so much…as long as we aren’t home alone and hear a noise at night… 😉

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