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What effects do the horror and action genres have on their audience?

Greg Gutai
Chip Douglas
UWRT 1101
15 November 2016

Branje, Carmen, Gabe Nespoil, Frank Russo, and Deborah I. Fels. "The Effect of
Vibrotactile Stimulation on the Emotional Response to Horror Films." Comput. Entertain.
Computers in Entertainment CIE 11.1 (2014): 1-13. Web.
The first article I came across regarded the multiple stimulations that are added in horror
films and the effects they have on those watching. These stimulations include the
soundtrack/music played at given points to flashes of images and jump scares. This article
presents a study where individuals could record the effects of stimuli from horror film
soundtracks through sensitive areas on the human body. They used a chair with special receptors
to map out how much stress a person is enduring when hearing specific sounds. They proceeded
with silence, followed my white noise until reaching the horror film soundtracks. The study
found that individuals became more stressed when influenced by horror genre content.
Throughout this project, the sole question I am investigating is what happens to
individuals who view violent and/or frightening content? I believe this article answers that
question by providing evidence that individuals endure higher amounts of stress/anxiety when
influenced by horror content.

Mattar, L et al. Effect of Movie Violence on Mood, Stress, Appetite Perception and Food
Preferences in a Random Population. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition Eur J Clin
Nutr, vol. 69, no. 8, Oct. 2014, pp. 972973. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2014.262.
The second article I found relates to the influence that certain movies have on an
individuals appetite. Like the last article I wrote about, the authors of this article delved into the
common theme of stress and anxiety undergone when viewing horror/violent films. However, a
different study was done on the effects that certain movie genres have on an individuals food
preferences after finishing that film. It was found that after watching a romantic film, audience
members craved sweet food while after individuals watched a horror film, salty food was craved.
Although this is the case, it was said that a larger investigation needs to be done to confirm these
impulses in the human brain.
This brief article was very interesting and brings light to an area that we may not visit
much. How the subtle things we encounter throughout the day mightily influence how we act and
what we do. As already described, this article walks through the eating patterns of individuals
who watch specific genres of films. This article backs up my main question by simply showing
how vastly influenced humans are. By showing the unusual effect that horror, action, romance,
etc. has on our daily appetite and the fact that often, we have no idea.

Braff, Danielle. "Special Effects: Movies Affect the Brain and Body." Tribunedigitalchicagotribune. N.p., 22 June 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2016
The third article I found focuses on the specific psychological effects of movies on the
brain. With horror and action being the center of my question I focused on those genre categories
while reading the article. Specifically, this article delves into the idea of traumatic moments in

someones life being revisited as an effect of watching a scary movie/horror film. In addition to
the common stress increase that I have already spoken on, a spike in adrenaline and cortisol
levels has been found to occur as a result of watching entertainment pertaining to the horror
genre. It has also been found that individuals suffering from heart conditions should refrain from
viewing such films as an increase in chest pain, breathing complications, and blood pressure has
been recorded.
This article defends my over-arching question by providing statistics and facts based
upon the heath of individuals who view frightening films. This article is more of a public service
announcement informing individuals about the physical dangers of certain films, but nevertheless
backs up the point of highlighting the effects of action and horror films that I am trying to make.

Tompkins, Aimee. "The Psychological Effects of Violent Media on Children." AllPsych.


N.p., 14 Dec. 2003. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.
My final article breaks through the broad question of the effects that horror and action
stimuli has on everyone and focuses primarily on the effects towards children. The author of this
article makes the claim that violent video games, movies, television shows, etc. directly affect
children as they grow to be older. In general, entertainment nowadays has drastically changed
society and especially younger children. The article explains that children who regularly look to
entertainment, are less academically and socially sound as other children their age. For violent
content, such as action/horror genres of entertainment, it is said that children have increased
feelings of hostility, decreased emotional response to violent stimuli, as well as a higher
likelihood to commit a violent act down the road.

This article is certainly eye opening when talking about genre in general. The question I
asked was to determine the effects (positive or negative) that exists from horror and action genres
of entertainment. I took it one step further and addressed the issue and the effects that there are
for the upcoming generation of children. The issues are certainly evident with younger
individuals being so immersed in violent content. There is so much material surrounding the
effects that certain genres of media/entertainment have on us. I think that this article supports my
argument and brings awareness to parents about children who view older content too regularly.
Reflection:
I chose this topic and question because it is an area I found interesting while in this
class. Not too long ago we conducted the genre assignment project where we were required to
choose a genre and see how the conventions are stretched. For my project, I covered the action
genre and how it is my go-to when looking for a movie or television show to watch.
Throughout my gaining of new knowledge and other presentations in class, I found that horror
and action literature/entertainment is very similar in the story that is being told. Therefore, I
chose this question to research for my project because I was genuinely interested in finding out
just how drastically horror and action entertainment affect us. It turns out that we are mightily
influenced by these genres as well as most things we come into contact as humans.
When looking for sources I found that the UNCC library was quite helpful in finding
academic articles on my information. Although this is the case the library did not have
everything I needed to truly research my topic. I have completed several assignments for other
classes where the Atkins library was used and found this to be the case every time. Nevertheless,
the library is a fantastic resource to search for copious amounts of information pertaining to your
topic.

This paper is much different than other works that I have already completed for this
class. Simply, this project required research. Other large assignments have been the literary
narrative and the genre project whereby we were required to create papers from our own
personal writing ability on the subject assigned. The annotated bibliography required us to create
our own topic to research fully.