chapter  8
22 Pages

An Activation-Arousal Analysis of Reactions to Horror

The last 20 years of research in psychology and communication have produced a burgeoning literature on human emotions. This increase in research activity has provided fertile soil for those scholars studying the emotional responses that occur in the general context of mass-mediated messages and, more specifically, in the context of frightening, horrific, and suspenseful entertainment. However, the studies on reactions to horror often reflect a diverse array of theoretical approaches to emotion processes. Moreover, the underlying theoretical assumptions about emotion are specified only occasionally in this recent literature.