A Uses and Gratifications Analysis of Horror Film Preference
This chapter endorses the self-report method traditionally employed by uses and gratifications scholars as a means toward better understanding why some individuals are enticed by horror films. It reviews selected studies that have used self-reports, and it then presents a reanalysis of data from an earlier study by the chapter authors. In both the literature review and the data analysis, psychological needs for affective and generalized arousal play significant roles in predicting horror film preference. Specific film content-nudity, graphic sex scenes, obscene language, and violence-emerges as an important avoidance motive and two gratifications sought-identifying with film characters and using audience reactions to facilitate enjoyment-are significantly related to liking of horror films.