The Science Behind Loving The Scare

The Science Behind Loving The Scare

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Halloween is swiftly approaching, and that means a growing number of scary images, haunted houses, and multitudes of scary movies. Many of us wait all year for the scariest of them all, but it's absolutely baffling to see the growing numbers that flock to these attractions yearly. As a culture, why do we love and crave these panicking situations so much?

When we get the living daylights scared out of us, our hearts beat a little faster, our breaths get short, our stomachs drop out of our butts, and our body temperature rises. According to The Atlantic in an interview with sociologist Dr. Margee Kerr, "new research from David Zald shows that people differ in their chemical response to thrilling situations. One of the main hormones released during scary and thrilling activities is dopamine, and it turns out some individuals may get more of a kick from this dopamine response than others do. Basically, some people’s brains lack what Zald describes as “brakes” on the dopamine release and re-uptake in the brain. This means some people are going to really enjoy thrilling, scary, and risky situations while others, not so much." Science experts say it's not odd that people crave to see how far they can go to prove they can handle more anxiety than they thought -- as if college and life, in general, doesn't make us anxious enough.

In addition, hormone levels rise when a person is terror stricken. This can create the love component of our obsession with feeling scared, much like a first kiss can. The moment we get scared, we feel the "flight or fight" reaction that gives us an intense adrenaline rush, making us more emotional.

On a psychological level, we love the forbidden. Take Adam and Eve, for example: They went for that particular apple because they weren't supposed to. Or an adolescent girl going for the "bad boy" because it's exactly who she shouldn't be dating. Horror movies, haunted houses, and scary decor allow us to enjoy this feeling but technically still stay safe. This attracts people because it differs from the everyday routine and, therefore, creates thrill.

And while these attractions give us anxiety, the release of fear at the end is known to lower anxiety levels as well. Go figure.

Finally, spooky stories help us form a strong emotional connection. We, as humans, often question the unknown, and the debate on the existence of paranormal activity is a hot topic. These deep and disprovable topics allow for the brain to contemplate what is beyond 2 inches in front of us as we grow intellectually in our own views. In addition, The Atlantic also backs this by stating that "One of the reasons people love Halloween is because it produces strong emotional responses, and those responses work to build stronger relationships and memories. When we’re happy, or afraid, we’re releasing powerful hormones, like oxcytocin, that are working to make these moments stick in our brain." Overall the emotional connection tells the mind to find relief in the scary moments and crave to relive those connecting moments.

Overall, having attended a haunted house less than 24 hours ago, I feel more relaxed and had a lot of fun. At the time, my heart rate rose, my breath shortened, and my anxiety levels were through the roof, but afterwards, I was laughing and felt happier than ever -- significantly more relaxed than beforehand.

These components explain why society loves to be afraid and ultimately clarify why I waited three hours outside to go through a 15-minute attraction.

Personal pleasure can vary, but these scary temptations aren't going anywhere. So pack an extra pair of underwear, bring a friend, and go test your limits. You'll feel good after you do.


Cover Image Credit: http://celeste-everywhere.tumblr.com/post/41922193703/siento-que-estos-gritos-son-como-parecidos

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14 Stages Of Buying Jonas Brothers Concert Tickets As A 20-Something In 2019

"Alexa, play "Burnin' Up" by the Jonas Brothers."

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In case you missed it, the Jonas Brothers are back together and, let me tell you, they're giving us some major jams. For those of us who were there when it all began back in 2007 with their first album, It's About Time, this has been one of the most important events of the year. But nothing, and I mean nothing can rival the excitement every twenty-something felt as the Jonas Brothers announced their Happiness Begins tour. I, for one, put my name in for ticket presale, have been following every single social media site related to the tour/group, and, of course, listening to the Jonas Brothers on repeat. And if you did manage to snag tickets, then you know that this is how your brain has been ever since they announced the tour.

1. Finding out that they're going on tour

2. Hopefully entering your name into the lottery to get presale tickets

3. Finding out that you actually get to buy presale tickets

4. Impatiently waiting for your presale tickets by listening to their songs on repeat

5. And remembering how obsessed you used to be (definitely still are) with them

6. Trying to coordinate the squad to go to the concert with you

7. Waiting in the Ticketmaster waiting room...

8. ...And feeling super frantic/frustrated because there are about 2000 people in line in front of you

9. Actually getting into the site to buy the tickets

10. Frantically trying to find seats you can actually pay for because, let's be real, you're twenty-something and poor

11. Managing to actually get the seats you want

12. Joyfully letting your squad know that you've done it

13. Crying a little because all of the dreams you've had since 2007 are coming true

14. Listening to every single Jonas Brothers song on repeat (again)

If you, like me, have finally fulfilled one of your dreams since childhood, then congrats, my friend! We've made it! Honestly, of all the things I've done in my adult life, this might be the one that child me is the most proud of.

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Advice For High Schoolers By A High Schooler

Everyone takes different paths throughout high school, just make sure you're taking a good one.

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The years of high school are the four years that everybody remembers about themselves. The memories that go along with it may be good may be bad. If you are reading this and you're about to go into high school or currently in high school, these are five basic things but you need to know before going in.

Do what makes you happy. 

I know that sounds cheesy but it's true. High School is your chance to find out what interests you and what doesn't. If you find out that you like something or you're interested in something then stick with it. As long as you're doing things in high school that you enjoy, and they don't harm you or anyone else around you, the four years you're there will be great.

Don't care about other people's opinion

I know it's hard not to be consumed with what other people think about you. Everybody wants to be popular. Everybody wants to be liked. If you are genuinely a good person and people don't like you, don't worry about it.

Throughout high school, you will learn there'll be people that love you for the same exact reasons there are people that hate you and you have to be able to learn to accept that. You can't please everybody and you cannot make everybody happy.

 Make good grades and make an effort

Good grades should be something that everybody wants to achieve. With that being said, a lot of people just don't want to put in the work to achieve good grades. Coming from somebody with a 3.87 GPA and a member of my high school's NHS, I honestly wish there were more people that cared about their academics.

Having good academics teaches you how to balance school work and outside school activities. Yes, I have also had a job since I was 16. I know how to balance my school work, sports, and my job and still be able to be involved as I am. When you're able to balance everything, it makes you proud of yourself and prepares you for college/ future work.

 Don't be the person that has a new significant other every week

In high school, the term "slut" is thrown around very loosely. I can think of ten girls off the top of my head that got called this on a daily basis just because of the boyfriends they had and how many they had in the span of a month.

This doesn't apply to just girls either. Fellas, if you go out and mess with girls all the time, eventually they'll get the message that you only want to play a game. When a girl finds out that her crush is nothing but a player, she will lose interest in him. People will not take you seriously.

If you don't take my second part advice, gossip and rumors also like to spread around the school so just be careful of who your friends with and who you're associated with.

 There will be times were you feel like you failed and you're at rock bottom, but you’ll get over it. 

No matter if you spend weeks studying for a test only to get a 50% or you got your first heartbreak, there will be multiple times where you feel like you're at your low point. If you're anything like me, you will blame yourself and get more stressed about it than anything. However, you can't do that.

You have to move past things, no matter how hard you think it is, it will be okay. Everybody in high school has the same end goal: to graduate. As soon as you feel like you're at rock bottom, you just have to remember your goals and what you're going to do to push forward.

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