Sci-fi fans could be more resilient to COVID-19

If you’re fanatic of science fiction movies, zombies, apocalyptic worlds and global pandemics, then you could be more resilient to the health crisis due to COVID-19, according to a study published by the United States National Library of Medicine (NCBI).

According to the research, “fans of chilling movies experienced lower levels of psychological distress during the pandemic months than those who preferred other genres.”

Coltan Scrivner of the University of Chicago, and his Danish colleagues, study authors found that enthusiasts of the Horror films were more resilient during the pandemic months.

So what lovers of apocalyptic movies, zombies and alien invasions, in addition to being resilient, also seemed to be better prepared to handle stress of the health emergency.

Resilience develops with science fiction films because they anticipate people to possible reality. | Photo: Internet.

For his part, Hugo Sánchez Castillo, academic at the Faculty of Psychology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explains that this is because those who watch this type of film, find similar elements in real life, as in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This leads people to take certain precautions, such as storing food, or other forms of preparation.”

Sánchez Castillo points out that an untimely event can provoke a startle or fear response because it activates the survival system. But “when the situation does not take us by surprise, because we have already experienced it in a film, it does not produce such an intense activation of the survival system” and the phenomenon of resilience.

In a strict sense, the academic ensures that sci-fi fans anticipate elements of what might happen:

“Thus, when they happen, they are no longer totally alien to you: you already had a preparation, an exposition”, which facilitates a more assertive or different response “.

However, this does not only happen with cinema: “people who read a certain type of literature, such as science fiction, would have elements that would even allow them to identify the things that are going to happen, based on what they are experiencing.”

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To find out this, the researchers recruited 310 volunteers who answered questions about their likes in movies and TV shows, and they evaluated the mood, perception of the current and future situation and their psychological resilience, as well as their mental and physical preparation during the pandemic of the participants.

Myrtle Frost

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