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An example of research created by our Psychology Cohort:
“Horror Movies and Emotional Calibration: How Revulsion Heightens Fear”
Briana Garrett
Program Director/Senior Lecturer Diane L. Alonso

Horror films, especially grotesque and bloody cinema, are becoming increasingly popular and prevalent. This study examines the two major emotions that horror films prey on, disgust and fear; specifically, how these emotions affect arousal during a short movie clip. Prior research on arousal, fear, and revulsion has focused on advertising appeals. In the current study, 90 participants age 18 and above are recruited from the Universities at Shady Grove. Participants are assigned to one of three conditions: observing a disgust-inducing scene, a fear-provoking clip, or a fear and disgust-producing scene. All participants have their heart rate taken, are videotaped, and fill out four self-report questionnaires concerning their arousal level, disgust-propensity, enjoyment of horror films, and what emotions the film generated. Data collected from this research will shed light on the interactive effect of disgust and fear and may contribute to an etiology of mental disorders with this mixed emotion component such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

A three quarter portrait of Crystal.
Meet Crystal! Read her bio here.

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Benefits for Psychology students:

  • Work with a faculty member
  • Experience hands-on research
  • Reinforce classroom learning
  • Prepare for work or graduate school
  • Travel to national conferences
  • Receive grant funding
  • Publish independent research
    • The Effects of Apparent Ethnicity in an Individual’s Name on Perceived Qualifications in the Professional Service Industry.
      Doha Chibani-Talaat. UMBC Review vol.10.
    • The Gendered Asylum: Nineteenth Century Asylums Used as Tools of Female Socialization.
      Kevin Triplett. UMBC Review Vol.12.

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