EXPERT ON THE SCIENCE OF HORROR AND MORBID CURIOSITY.
Who I am
I am a Research Scientist at the Recreational Fear Lab at Aarhus University in Denmark and a Fellow at the Institute for Mind and Biology at The University of Chicago.
I'm writing my first book on the science behind our fascination with horror and the macabre. The book will be published by Penguin Random House in the Fall of 2023.
I also have a column on Psychology Today called Morbid Minds where I write about the psychology of morbid curiosity and horror. You can find it here.
What I do
What is it about monsters, murderers, and the macabre that draws us in and inspires curiosity? What does this morbid curiosity say about us? How is it related to our personality and well-being?
These are the core questions that motivate much of my research, whether that research involves tracking participants’ eye movements as they inspect a cabinet of morbid items, interviewing people at a torture museum, or measuring visitors' heart rate as they fight their way through a haunted house.
Over the past several years, I have conducted pioneering research on the psychology of morbid curiosity and horror fans. Most of my research looks at how and why people can find enjoyment — and can perhaps learn something — from fictionally dangerous scenarios. My work has been covered by numerous international newspapers, magazine, radio shows, and podcasts. You can check out some of the media coverage of my work here.