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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Loving ‘it’ - Explaining the Motivation for Horror Movie Consumption

Published: May 28, 2019


Sarah Jung, Universität Duisburg-Essen


Horror movie consumption; Self-Determination Theory; Types of Motivation


Horror movies are enjoying a great popularity although they belong to a film genre which triggers fear and terror at its recipients. Accordingly, the question arises which motives and characteristics justify the devotion to this film genre. In this regard, no previous research considered the basic psychological needs of self-determination theory. Therefore, we take a closer look at these needs regarding different types of motivation and their influence on the frequency of horror movie consumption. We conducted an online questionnaire study, in which personality traits and characteristics from 289 horror movie consumers were collected. Our results show that intrinsically motivated consumers are characterized by a low need for relatedness, while extrinsically motivated ones are characterized by a strong need for relatedness and a low need for autonomy. Furthermore, intrinsically motivated recipients consume horror movies more often than extrinsically motivated ones.