EXPERT ON HORROR AND MORBID CURIOSITY.
Who I am
I am a researcher at The University of Chicago in the Department of Comparative Human Development and a Fellow at the Institute for Mind and Biology. I am also writing my first book on morbid curiosity, which will be published by Penguin Random House in 2023.
What I do
What is it about monsters, murderers, and the macabre that draws us in and inspires curiosity? More importantly, how does this morbid curiosity affect us in our daily life?
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 or measuring their heart rate as they fight their way through a haunted house.
Most of my current research looks at how and why people sometimes find enjoyment - and can perhaps learn something - from fictionally dangerous scenarios. From this perspective, I’ve been pioneering the psychological study of morbid curiosity. Outside of my work on morbid curiosity and horror, I also study the functions of emotions and the evolution of human behavior.
Can horror be good for you?
Do people across the world share intuitions about rituals?
Why do we experience hatred and how is different from experiencing anger?
Why are we drawn to the dark side of life?
Fear is fun (for some of us): Why we’re drawn to horror and scary movies
What Does Horror Taste Like? ‘Carnage Asada’ and Bloody Cocktails
Why do we keep falling for jump scares?
How horror movies can help people overcome real-world trauma
Why The Zombie Apocalypse Prepared Us For Pandemic Coronavirus
You know you want to look: University of Chicago grad student has made a specialty of morbid curiosity
Blood, gore and a healthy dose of catharsis: why horror can be good for us
Scary movies for when the world is a fright
Scream: The psychology of why we love horror movies
Are YOU morbidly curious? Take the quiz that reveals what your obsession with Squid Game and true crime podcasts REALLY means
How horror movies can help mental health, according to science
Horror movie fans are better at coping with the coronavirus pandemic
Horror Movie Fans Are Having an Easier Time Dealing With the Pandemic
How zombie-apocalypse movies readied us for 2020
Scary Movies: Can They Actually Be Good for Anxiety?
Why Do So Many People Like Horror Movies? Six Reasons We Love Being Scared
Why Am I More Morbidly Curious Than Ever – & Is It Bad For My Mental Health?
The labor shortage is spooking a new victim: Haunted houses
Should You Let Your Kids Watch Scary Movies?