An Analysis of Unconscious Transfer in Horror Films

Tragedies happen around the world at any time or place. Moreover, just as Horror films we all refuse to admit it, but we love to see the bad news that is announced or see bad things happen. Society has this perspective that it is wrong to do things like this and that it will always frown upon it although we all think the same most of the times. When bad things happen, we usually see parents covering their kids’ eyes and ears or telling them to go to a different room; we see people also standing around trying to get closer to the scene trying to see what’s happening and some of them gossiping about what they think happened.

However, society does this because of their interest. The parents do not want their children to become as engrossed as they are and depending on the child’s easiness of becoming scared, they do not want their child to be up all night worrying something is going to happen to them. The person gossiping does this because they assume they know but do not because they were not there. However, even if they were there, they are not as reliable.

In my Psychology class, we watched a video of a staged robbery created by National Geographic where they questioned witnesses afterward to see what everyone thinks they saw and then notified them of what actually happened. According to the video, there is a trick of the mind called the unconscious transfer. According to the Psychology Dictionary, “The unconscious transfer is a memory malformation which stems from confusing the source of the data recollected.” It also states on the website, “a common debate that defense attorneys reference when attempting to release their clients from charges or commitment.”

On Psychology Today, they interviewed Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein, a professor of social and organizational psychology at the University of Utrecht in a 2013 interview for IGN. Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein stated, “People go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn’t do it twice. You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you.

That’s certainly true of people who go to entertainment products like horror films that have big effects. They want those effects…[Horror films must] provide a just resolution in the end. The bad guy gets it. Even though they choose to watch these things, the images are still disturbing for many people. But people have the ability to pay attention as much or as little as they care to in order to control what effect it has on them, emotionally and otherwise.”

The movie provides us with sufficient evidence. In the film, there are instances such as Angela’s desire to watch the X-rated film although she finds it sickening and the soon to be dead Professor Figueroa raiding the library’s X-rated stash for a student’s thesis. There is also the new head of department declaring “give the public what they want” to a lecture full of students and also the patients in the hospital glued to the TV hearing about the terrible news.

In conclusion, this film is telling us that it is a part of an inherent human fascination. It is a part of life. We hide and thrill to see these tragedies. That is why we, humans, become enticed with the news of the tragedy.

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