CHFA | Psychology Department Showcase: Projects In-Progress

Title

Pumping Curiosity: Predicting the Effects of Morbid Curiosity on Heart Rate and Media Preferences

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Experimental Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Megan St. Peters

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Pumping Curiosity: Predicting the Effects of Morbid Curiosity on Heart Rate and Media Preferences

Purpose. Morbid curiosity is a mixture of excitement, fear, and compulsion that stimulates a need to know about horrid subjects, such as death and terror (Harrison & Frederick, 2020). Although normal, it can motivate and predict behaviors and preferences (Scrivner, 2021). Whether morbid curiosity influences a relationship between preferred movie genre and arousal levels has yet to be examined. Arousal levels as measured using heart rate variability (HRV) can be useful for developing targeted marketing strategies (So et al., 2021) but HRV data is inconsistent when based on general emotional content. Cantor and colleagues (1984) reported a partial relationship between heart rate response and rating of fright in a movie clip, and Harrison (1999) reported that only 18% of individuals exhibited an increased heart rate in response to scary media. It may be that morbid curiosity contributes to the strength of relationship between HRV and media preferences.

Procedure. Participants (N = 50) are being recruited to complete a brief online survey measuring fear survey schedule (Wolpe & Lang, 1964), morbid curiosity (Scrivner, 2021), horror typology (Robinson et al., 2014), and demographics. Once participants are finished with the online portion, they are being asked to make an appointment to come into the lab where they will watch seven movie clips while their heart rate variability is being measured. After each clip, the participants will be asked to fill out three questions indicating the emotions surrounding the segment they watched as well as how frightened and anxious they felt watching the clip.

Results. A correlation will be conducted to determine if there is a relationship between heart rate variability and media preference. Then a regression analysis will be conducted to determine if morbid curiosity mediates the correlation between heart rate and media preferences.

Implications/Conclusions. It is expected that morbid curiosity will mediate the relationship between heart rate and media preferences. Exploring factors that better predict HRV on media preferences provides insights into the physiology of what drives media preferences and can inform the development of marketing strategies.

Spring Scholars Week 2023 Event

Psychology: Projects In-Progress

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Pumping Curiosity: Predicting the Effects of Morbid Curiosity on Heart Rate and Media Preferences

Pumping Curiosity: Predicting the Effects of Morbid Curiosity on Heart Rate and Media Preferences

Purpose. Morbid curiosity is a mixture of excitement, fear, and compulsion that stimulates a need to know about horrid subjects, such as death and terror (Harrison & Frederick, 2020). Although normal, it can motivate and predict behaviors and preferences (Scrivner, 2021). Whether morbid curiosity influences a relationship between preferred movie genre and arousal levels has yet to be examined. Arousal levels as measured using heart rate variability (HRV) can be useful for developing targeted marketing strategies (So et al., 2021) but HRV data is inconsistent when based on general emotional content. Cantor and colleagues (1984) reported a partial relationship between heart rate response and rating of fright in a movie clip, and Harrison (1999) reported that only 18% of individuals exhibited an increased heart rate in response to scary media. It may be that morbid curiosity contributes to the strength of relationship between HRV and media preferences.

Procedure. Participants (N = 50) are being recruited to complete a brief online survey measuring fear survey schedule (Wolpe & Lang, 1964), morbid curiosity (Scrivner, 2021), horror typology (Robinson et al., 2014), and demographics. Once participants are finished with the online portion, they are being asked to make an appointment to come into the lab where they will watch seven movie clips while their heart rate variability is being measured. After each clip, the participants will be asked to fill out three questions indicating the emotions surrounding the segment they watched as well as how frightened and anxious they felt watching the clip.

Results. A correlation will be conducted to determine if there is a relationship between heart rate variability and media preference. Then a regression analysis will be conducted to determine if morbid curiosity mediates the correlation between heart rate and media preferences.

Implications/Conclusions. It is expected that morbid curiosity will mediate the relationship between heart rate and media preferences. Exploring factors that better predict HRV on media preferences provides insights into the physiology of what drives media preferences and can inform the development of marketing strategies.