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How to find comfort watching scary movies alone

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Watching a scary movie by yourself? You will find comfort from a favorite product brand, according to a recent media release from The University of British Columbia on Feb. 5.

Graduate PhD student Lea Dunn found individuals who watched a scary movie alone (without friends or family) and showed fear, reached out and received comfort from a favorite product brand such as a can of Coke. The emotional attachment to the favorite product brand sufficed to replace the absence of another person.

When people watch scary movies together, they can mutually support each other by discussing the scary scenes. They are able to look at each other in shock or even cuddle with a partner for emotional bonding. This interaction helps them get through the scary movie scenes.

However, if the movie watcher is alone, they don’t have the other person for the emotional support. Therefore, according to Dunn, reaching out for a familiar product appears to relieve their anxiety. Dunn suggested even if the product is only viewed, it can be an emotional bonding.

The research was co-authored by Sauder School of Business Assistant Professor JoAndrea Hoegg.

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