In the past, emotions commonly referred to as “negative” were seen as something to be avoided – a potential hangover from the positive psychology movement – but as researchers deepen the human mind, such attitudes seem to be not very simplistic.
Although few people claim that continuing sadness is a good thing, trying to escape may not be a good idea. Researchers at Oxford University now claim that watching traumatic films can increase our pain threshold, increase attachment to the group, and increase a certain well-being chemical in the brain.
“The argument here is that actually, maybe the emotional wringing you get from tragedy triggers the endorphin system,” said Robin Dunbar, co-author of the study and professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford University.
“Singing and dancing and jogging and laughter, all produce an endorphin kick for the same reason – they are putting the musculature of the body under stress.”
According to Dunbar, areas of the brain that deal with physical pain are also responsible for treating mental health problems. The study was published on September 21 in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
In the study, 169 participants saw an emotionally emotional film (Stuart: A Life Backwards) about a disabled and homeless addict based on a real-life story, while 68 witnesses projected two consecutive documentary films about natural history, geology and archeology in the UK. ,
Before and after the films, participants were asked to rate their mood and sense of belonging to other members of their group using various measures. A number of participants were also invited to do an exercise to measure their pain tolerance – the test on the wall with the back glued against a wall as long as possible.
Based on the release of endorphins as a representation of pain tolerance, the researchers found that the traumatic film surveillance group experienced a 13.1% increase in the pain threshold and reported a increased feeling of closeness with peers while control group 4 achieves 6%. Decreased tolerance to pain and felt the same in terms of bonding.
The research team now intends to continue researching a wider range of films and other influences, such as scores, to determine if the effect is due to certain emotions or their sharing.