Why do so many of us enjoy being told frightening stories? What are some of the consequences that result from such exposure? In light of the considerable popularity of horror films over the last three decades, these questions have become the focus of growing attention for many scholars. However, research on audience preferences for, and reactions to, horror films has been performed eclectically by investigators from varied theoretical and methodological backgrounds. As a result, the information has not been effectively integrated. This volume was written to address this problem and to position the study of audience responses to frightening fiction as a significant research topic.
"…does take some steps toward answering a preliminary, but generally neglected question: Why do we like to watch violent entertainment at all?"
—Communication Research Trends
Contents: J.B. Weaver, III, R. Tamborini, Preface. R. Tamborini, J.B. Weaver, III, Frightening Entertainment: A Historical Perspective of Fictional Horror. D. Zillmann, R. Gibson, Evolution of the Horror Genre. B.S. Sapolsky, F. Molitor, Content Trends in Contemporary Horror Films. D. Gomery, The Economics of the Horror Film. J. Cantor, M.B. Oliver, Developmental Differences in Responses to Horror. D. Zillmann, J.B. Weaver, III, Gender-Socialization Theory of Reactions to Horror. R. Tamborini, A Model of Empathy and Emotional Reactions to Horror. G.G. Sparks, An Activation-Arousal Analysis of Reactions to Horror. M. Zuckerman, Sensation Seeking and the Taste for Vicarious Horror. P.A. Lawrence, P.C. Palmgreen, A Uses and Gratifications Analysis of Horror Film Preference. R. Tamborini, K. Salomonson, Horror's Effect on Social Perceptions and Behaviors.
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