The effect of Horror Novels on the Human Brain

The effect of Horror Novels on the Human Brain

Horror novels are a genre of literature written to create a sense of fear in the reader. Horror novels often feature ghosts, demons, and other supernatural elements. 

They also often feature scenes of murder and violence. Horror novels often include a ‘shock ending,’ which is meant to surprise the reader.

Are Horror Novels Good for the Brain? If so, in what ways do they affect the Brain Positively?

Studies have shown that reading has many benefits for the human brain. It exercises the imagination as well as increases empathy and self-awareness. 

In addition, some studies have claimed that it can help memory and concentration. A number of medical professionals suggest that reading books is better for your mental health than watching television or playing video games because there is no sensory input from sight or sound, which can desensitize people to violence and suffering. 

Not only does this decrease empathy, but it also decrease actual compassion throughout society. Horror movies and books are known for their shock value since they often depict violent and disturbing scenes. 

However, some studies have shown that the human brain is fascinated by such things rather than repulsed. This may be due to a primitive fascination with death and violence. 

If this is true, then horror novels may exercise the reader’s imagination. This way, the novels would expose readers to different perspectives about life and death, which can increase empathy towards others and help cognitive development in many ways. A few more ways in which horror novels and movies may be helpful for the brain include;

  • Exposing readers to alternative perspectives and worldviews that can expand the imagination and increase empathy: This way, reading horror novels can help with cognitive development and increase cultural understanding.
  • Creating new neural pathways in the brain which help improve memory and imagination: Reading the same material over and over again is known to create different neural pathways in the brain, which lead to better memory, imagination, and problem-solving skills. 
  • Exercise the imagination and improve memory and concentration: Reading is known to exercise creativity which helps improve memory and concentration.
  • Promote self-awareness of how we think, feel, and act: Horror movies and novels share a lot in common and there is also quite a lot that horror authors can learn from horror films. We can become aware of how our brain reacts to fear and violence by watching a horror movie or reading horror stories. Horror movies may help us learn about ourselves to be empathic towards others.
  • Increase empathy: People often feel less pain when they see others experiencing it as well. This is because we can process the emotions of those around us more easily than our own, making it easier to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and empathize with them. Therefore, watching horror movies or reading horror novels with violent and disturbing scenes may help people empathize with those who are suffering. 

From these benefits, it’s easy to see that horror novels may be not only good for your mental health but also good for your brain! However, more research needs to be done on this area before any conclusive evidence can be reached.

It is also worth mentioning that if you love reading horror novels and you read consistently, you may begin developing an interest in writing your own horror novels. Chances are pretty high you’ll succeed since consistent reading also enhances your creativity. 

But there is a problem; if you’re taking classes, there are instances when you will have very little time left for assignments. To avoid having huge assignment pile ups, and even failing, your best bet would be to hire a college paper writer. This way, you will still manage good performances at school and keep up with you passion of writing thrilling horror novels.

Are Horror Novels Bad for the Brain? If so, in what ways do they affect the Brain Negatively?

As a basic rule of the thumb, it is imperative to look at both sides of the story to make a conclusive judgment. That said, we also looked into the potential, negative aspects of reading horror novels or watching horror movies. Keep reading.

Horror movies are known for their shock value since they often depict violent and disturbing scenes with little regard for the consequences on society. They often traumatize viewers with scenes of violence and death. 

Let’s face it; there is a fine line between such things being intriguing or just plain upsetting, but repeated exposure to violent imagery can desensitize people towards real violence in their lives. This tends to perpetuate an unhealthily apathetic culture where people learn not to respect human life as much as they should.

Most of the effects from watching a horror movie are similar to those from reading a horror novel because both mediums cause input to the visual cortex and amygdala, which can desensitize people to violence and suffering. In addition, human beings have evolved to have a natural aversion to seeing things that can hurt them or other humans within their tribe. 

Therefore, watching scenes of murder and violence may trigger an automated response that mimics pain and disgust. This causes a person’s first reaction to be fear instead of empathy for others who may be in danger. 

This has been empirically validated by several studies that tested brain activity after viewing violence. There have also been studies that have shown that people are more likely to commit crimes after watching violent movies or playing violent video games. 

For example, one study showed that there was a significant percentage increase in the rates of domestic violence reported during Superbowl Sundays because it is associated with increased alcohol intake and an uptick in television viewing. Similarly, crime rates also go up after the release of popular violent movies such as ‘The Passion of Christ.’ 

The basic argument behind all this is that, we become desensitized to scenes that we watch over and over again. However, all hope is not lost for those who love reading books with scenes of violence and murder. 

Research suggests that despite their detrimental effects on the psyche, people can still benefit from watching horror movies as explained earlier in this piece. This includes

  • Exercising the imagination: Horror movies often portray scenes of violence and death which sets off an automated response in human beings to be afraid or repulsed by such things. Seeing such scenes repeatedly allows the brain to practice handling these emotions, which can help improve problem-solving skills, pressure, and coping skills in high-stress situations.

The effect of Horror Novels on the Human Brain: Final Thoughts

Horror novels and movies can both be detrimental to our mental and physical health. They often depict scenes of violence and death, which causes an automatic response within us to be afraid or repulsed by such things. 

However, there is some evidence that suggests that they may also help individuals exercise their imaginations as well as build their problem-solving skills under pressure. So, they may not be all bad for your brain!

Author Bio:

Eliza Sadler is a prolific horror author, and essay writer providing assignment help UK. She has more than four years in journalism and working with students who buy dissertation online. Miss Sadler is always focused on doing quality work to hit her goals and objectives.


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