Fans of world-ending films 'coping better with pandemic'

Posted on July 6, 2020

Psychologists have found evidence that fans of apocalyptic movies - where global order is upturned - may be more resilient and better prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than the rest of us.

The bleak scenarios thrown up by films such as Contagion, from panic buying and isolation to fear of others and fake claims of miracle cures, appeared to help viewers take the outbreak in their stride and work out how best to handle the crisis.

The researchers questioned 310 volunteers on their movie preferences and viewing histories before asking them how prepared they felt going into the pandemic and what levels of anxiety, depression, irritability and sleepless they had experienced.

One reason people are drawn to apocalyptic movies, he believes, is that they give viewers a safe way to experience the chaos of social breakdown. “For the cost of a bad dream one night, you can learn what the world looks like when a pandemic hits,” he said, likening the benefit to playing tag. “It’s not like you’re thinking, this is what I’ll do when someone chases me, but you’re building the knowledge you can draw on later, even if it’s outside your conscious awareness.”

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Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from The Guardian