Halloween is far behind us, but one element of the holiday sticks with us year-round: the enjoyment of the safe scare.
Roller coasters. Scary movies. Bungee jumping. Why do we like the things that scare us?
One researcher at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Brittany Schrick, believes she has it figured out.
Schrick says, at the bottom of it all, is biology .
Endorphins are hormones that can give us a sense of well-being.
That rush of fear followed by a sense of relief has social effects as well, Schrick said.
However, the tolerance for “fun fear” isn’t the same for everyone.
Schrick said that some people seem to have a higher threshold for risk taking than others, and it often shows up at an early age. They are the ones likely to look for thrilling activities because they like how they feel being on the edge of safety.
And, interestingly, the fun of the “safe scare” often starts with infants.
So why not be scared sometimes when we know everything will end up OK?