Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. -Edgar Allan Poe
What Halloween (trick-or-treating and horror films) can teach us about the psychology of our behaviors.
What can Trick-or-Treating teach us about the human psychology and social behaviors?
- We’re more likely to engage in deviant behaviors in groups. Researchers studied the behavior of more than 1,000 kids trick-or-treating. They found that kids who were in groups were more likely to steal – they took more candy than instructed to.
- When we’re off the hook, we’re more likely to show disinhibition. When researchers observed the behavior of kids in groups, if the group had one child in charge/responsible for the group, the other group members were more likely to steal extra candy and/or money.
What about horror-films? What can they show us about our inclination to the “dark side”?
- Do you enjoy horror films? Does it leave you feeling worried that you have a sick/twisted mind? (P.S. My favorite movie is Saw – the original – so no judgments in this space!). Well you can rest assured. Researchers have found in fMRI/brain scans that individuals who enjoy horror films tend to be sensation seekers. We’re just bored and under-stimulated by daily occurrences.
- What can horror films teach us about our abilities to deal with intense emotions? In another study, researchers found that people who avoid strong emotions rate horror films negatively, while individuals who are drawn to strong emotions actually enjoy the experience more.
Have a spooktacular Halloween!
Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.