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What Your Movie Preferences Say About You, According to Researchers

What Your Movie Preferences Say About You, According to Researchers

Visual media, such as watching a movie, is very much a part of our lives. There is no question about it. We watch movies in cinemas. We watch movies online. We watch movies on our televisions. Our consumption is increasing based on ease of access to such content.

While it is clear that we consume much media content on a daily basis, what is less evident is the characteristics of people who have a preference toward a specific genre. Much of the research done on this topic has focused on gender and personality characteristics independently as they relate to media preferences.

In the study: Who Watches What? : Assessing The Impact Of Gender And Personality On Film Preferences, researchers aimed to delve deeper into the combined effects of gender and personality traits as they relate to movie preferences.

They made use of what is known as the Big Five Framework. This is a framework that many contemporary psychologists advocate and that many researchers use to determine personality types based on movie preferences.

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Comedy

Individuals who chose the comedy genre were more open (more creative and adventurous) and slightly less conscientious (less attention to detail and disorganized). And females who showed a preference towards this genre (when both sexes did) were more open than males.

According to Kraaykamp et al (2005), this can be explained by the fact that comedy movies are often more original, they contain humor, their plot lines are unpredictable, and they challenge conventional ways of thinking.

Horror

Individuals who gravitated towards horror movies were less agreeable (less altruistic), less extroverted (more reserved), and more neurotic (more nervous and tense).

According to the study, the lower agreeableness can be explained by the fact that people who dislike horror films are more agreeable and prefer a move that displays images of kindness and warmth (not brutality), that is in line with their personality traits.

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With regard to lower levels of extroversion, this finding is perhaps a little puzzling as it has been suggested that extroverts tend to enjoy horror films. Finn provides a possible explanation by mentioning that extroverts avoid a lot of media consumption and gravitate toward social interaction.

Explaining why more neurotic people would favor horror films is difficult as the majority of research points in the other direction.

Action

People who like action movies are more conscientious (hard working), less neurotic (less emotionally stable), and more open (creative and adventurous). And females who showed a preference towards this genre (when both sexes did) were more open than males, as with the comedy genre.

The levels of conscientiousness can be explained by the fact that such individuals often have a preference for familiarity. This is compatible with the predictable and familiar plot that is often associated with action movies.

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Being less neurotic is supported by Conway and Rubin (1991) who state that people who are more neurotic will gravitate towards movies that are lighter (such as comedy) that free them from their neuroticism.

The results of the levels of openness seem to contradict other research. This can perhaps be explained by the fact that the predictable plot of the action movies is combined with original content, which would naturally appeal to open people.

Romance

More conscientious (hard working) and more neurotic (more emotionally unstable) people seem to favor romance movies. And males who showed a preference towards this genre (when both sexes did) were more open than females

Romantic movies have predictable plots and similar characters; hence compatibility with conscientious viewers.

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They also provide happy endings, which provides comfort to the neurotic who may seek to break free from the tension and anxiety in his own life.

Fantasy

Liking fantasy films seems to reveal greater openness (creative and adventurous) and lower levels of extroversion (more reserved).

Greater openness can be explained by the originality often associated with these movies. The plots are often also very creative and appeal to the intellectual.

A plausible explanation for the second trait is that imagination and fantasy films go hand in hand. And imagination it seems is something introverts develop more than extroverts.

It seems then that your movie preferences may reveal more about you than you perhaps initially thought. The researchers acknowledge that there are some limitations with regard to the research (as is the case with any research) such as the sample (only British) and the data source (Facebook). But in reading this I am sure that there are some characteristics that do indeed hold true for you. And through further research more light will be shed on the topic.

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Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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