Positive and Negative Effects of Movies.

Watching movies is an activity that has long been regarded as simply a pastime to enjoy when you have a free moment from life’s responsibilities. It makes heavy use of vision and hearing. Activation of other sensory perceptions would be based on associated memories. What senses we perceive would influence the triggering of aspects of memories (thoughts, emotions, actions) which influence present thoughts, emotions, and actions. Old sensory or memory input reinforces old synaptic connections while new sensory input builds new ones, and anything in between would do a bit of both. After the person has finished watching the movie, their behaviour has changed because their brain sensory has changed. Then again, our behaviour always changes because we're always receiving input whether consciously or subconsciously. What movies specifically do is change people more deliberately compared to the non-deliberation of everyday life.

POSITIVE EFFECTS OF MOVIES. Too much screen time can be harmful, but engaging in hobbies that balance your work and professional life can be healthy. Science proves that excessive screen time is detrimental to our brain structure and impacts our cognitive abilities such as memory and focus. However, some studies show that watching movies can make you more productive and help with your mental well-being.

A study conducted by researchers at University College London and Vue Cinema found that people who watched movies experienced improved mental focus and fixation on the movie. This focused watching (according to the study) helps to improve cognition and memory. Have you ever felt a character in a film was exactly like you or very similar to you? Maybe it is something about their personality or the portrayal of a character. However, this association also impacts individuals on an emotional level. The power of the narrative stimulates emotions, and these emotional responses influence learning and behaviour. Immersion into a character in a movie increases empathy and allows the viewer to live the experiences of the character without having to experience the real-life consequences.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF MOVIES. The study, conducted by researchers from UCL’s Department of Experimental Psychology (Division of Psychology and Language Sciences) and Vue Entertainment, found a direct link between watching a film and its impact on our brain function, social connections, productivity, and creativity. Horror movies contain psychological tricks that create illusions of suspense and danger through the manipulation of images, sound, and story. Although your brain is aware that the threats aren’t real, your body simultaneously registers them as if they are. Sally Winston, a licensed psychologist and executive director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland, explains, “When watching horror films, your heart pumps and the adrenaline flows, and your attention narrows in, even as you know you are at home or in the theatre and there is no real danger.”

That is similar to being on an amusement park ride, where you can feel terrified while at the same time knowing you are safe. Horror films are designed to elicit certain emotions such as tension, fear, stress, and shock. These can cause the release of the hormones in the body such as norepinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline from the autonomic nervous system. You may notice a physiological response from these hormones by way of pupil dilation, increased heart rate, and muscle tension. As with all genres of movies and TV shows, it comes down to individual preference and circumstance. Whether it is thriller, drama, horror, or romance — whichever genre that you prefer, now there is proof that movies don't only entertain you but also affect your wellbeing.

CONCLUSION. To watch safely, monitor how horror movies are making you feel. Notice how you feel, the following day and whether your sleep is impacted. Remember, you can always leave a movie halfway if you’re uncomfortable or not enjoying the physiological responses in your body. On a positive note, therapists have used film therapy as a relaxing and mentally soothing activity. Relaxation and stress relief are more important than ever. Taking a two-hour break to watch a movie or a television show may be effective for anyone. Movies are a great way to relax and disconnect from our and reconnect with our internal world.


The Psychological Benefits Of Watching Movies, by Anonymous, May 20, 2022, https://sites.imsa.edu/acronym/2020/12/08/the-psychological-benefits-of-watching-movies/

Watching movies has psychological benefits, and here is all we know about it! By Anonymous, Accessed on 2nd June 2022 https://www.thebridgechronicle.com/lifestyle/living/watching-movies-has-psychological-benefits-and-here-is-all-we-know-about-it

Why watching a movie could improve wellbeing, Anonymous, Posted on 20 January 2020,https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-watching-movies-can-benefit-our-mental-health#:~:text=Reduce%20stress&text=A%202016%20study%20found%20that,according%20to%20a%202020%20study.


This Blog on 'the Positive and Negative Effects of Movies' has been contributed by Chrisann D'souza. She is an ambitious and results-driven individual. She loves to learn about the human psyche and hopes to raise awareness about mental health, gender issues, and cruelty to animals.

She is part of the International Journal of Neurolinguistics & Gestalt Psychology, IJNGP is a peer-reviewed journal that serves as a platform for the enrichment, articulation, and support of the constantly emerging field dedicated to promoting the study and research in Neurolinguistics Gestalt Psychology, and Therapy.