It is past Halloween, so I apologise for continuing with the “horror movie” topic. But I came across a study while researching sources for yesterday’s post, and I couldn’t help bringing it to light.
This is an old study by Zillman and colleagues (1986) showing that men seem to enjoy a horror movie more if the lady they’re watching it with appears scared. Men, if this is true, you are psychopaths. The study involved male or female college students watching a section of Friday the 13th III with what they thought was another opposite-sex participant (when in reality, it was a “confederate”, another researcher). If the confederate was visibly distressed, men said they enjoyed the movie more. On the flip side, women enjoyed the film more if their partner appeared “mastering”, which I assume means acting all manly and tough. Unfortunately the study is so old that I don’t have immediate access to the full text, so it’s hard to check some of the details.
I’m interested to know if there is any more recent research on this topic or if the study has been replicated – if anyone knows about this, feel free to comment. In the meantime, men, if you take your lady friend to a scary movie this weekend, try not to cry or wet your pants if you want her to have a good time.