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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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