For some, attending a horror movie is an agonizing experience that brings on nightmares and causes physical and emotional pain, while others rush to theaters with enthusiastic anticipation for the thrill and excitement the horror movie will bring. Why the difference? The purpose of this study was to identify why horror fans are attracted to horror movies and to provide a better understanding as to why this movie genre captivates millions every year. Through the Q sorts of horror movie fans, three factors were identified, “adrenaline junkies,” who represent the stereotypical sensation-seeker, “white knucklers,” who get scared and have nightmares but love watching horror movies, and “detectives” who see horror movies as a intellectual experience where they try to figure out the plot. The results show that horror movies do attract a diverse audience and that fans are much more complex than the stereotypical thrill seeker.
Operant Subjectivity

Tom Robinson, Clark Callahan, & Keith Evans. (2014). Why Do We Keep Going Back? A Q Method Analysis of Our Attraction to Horror Movies. Operant Subjectivity, 37(1/2), 41–57. doi:10.15133/j.os.2014.004