Science Says Being Frightened From Time To Time Might Be Good For Us
Most people spend their lives trying to avoid high-stress situations and things that might cause us extreme fear. While there are people who cannot stand being frightened, there are individuals who live for it, and even pay to nearly be given a heart attack. Is all that fear good for you, though?
There are quite a few haunted houses across the United States. One of the most popular is known as The Basement. For $31, you too can be hooded, mildly electrocuted, stabbed (simulated, of course), long in a coffin, and other surprises.
A study led by Margee Kerr, a professor at the University of Pittsburg, conducted a study at The Basement to test out their theory on how fear affects emotion.
The group placed a temporary EEG (electroencephalography) lab in a closet and recruited 262 volunteers who had already purchased a ticket. A psychology questionnaire was given to each individual before and after the experience.
The participants had all reported feeling better after going through the all the horrors The Basement had to offer. People who had displayed stress, tiredness or boredom before were in a far better mood after willingly subjecting themselves to be frightened.
It’s important to know that the improvement in mood is likely linked to the subjects volunteering themselves to be tortured. This is what researchers refer to as VANE or Voluntary Arousing Negative Experience.
“This study could suggest that inducing high arousal via exposure to negative stimuli may be a substrate for a generation of interventions that do not work to proximally decrease, but rather to increase, arousal in people whose goal is to increase positive affect and feel ‘wonderful.”
Researchers have said that for those who struggle with lack of emotion and feelings, depression sufferers may get a boost of energy.
Think you can handle getting ‘re-calibrated’ emotions from being frightened?