Understanding the Relationship Between Movie Preferences and Personality Traits
Visual media plays a significant role in our daily lives, whether it involves watching movies on the big screen, streaming content online, or catching up on our favorite shows on television. With an increasing accessibility to content, we consume a lot of media, but what remains lesser known is the correlation between people’s specific genre preferences and their personality traits.
Researchers have conducted extensive studies to gain deeper insights into the effects of gender and personality traits on movie preferences. They have utilized the Big Five Framework, a popular personality assessment model, to evaluate people’s movie tastes and their respective personality types.
Comedy: A Genre for the Open-Minded
Individuals with a penchant for comedy movies display more openness, creativity, and adventure, and relatively less conscientiousness, attention to detail, or organization. Females, in particular, exhibited more openness towards the genre. Such preferences could be explained by the originality, humor, and unpredictable plotlines of comedies that often challenge audiences’ conventional thinking.
Horror: A Choice for the Non-Agreeable
People who tend to gravitate towards horror movies are less agreeable, less extroverted, and more neurotic. Those who dislike horror enjoy more welcoming and warm movies that depict kindness rather than brutality, which aligns with their traits of altruism and agreeableness. It is usually assumed that extroverts enjoy such thrillers, though research suggests the opposite, and this could be explained by their preference for social interaction. Furthermore, more neurotic people tend to shy away from horror movies, making this finding somewhat puzzling.
Action: A Genre for the Conscientious and Adventurous
Action movie fans tend to be more conscientious, hard-working, less neurotic, less emotionally unstable, and more open to creativity and adventure. With the predictable and familiar plot-cliches of action movies, individuals with conscientious personalities and preferences for familiarity typically engage more with this genre. According to a study, people that are increasingly neurotic, gravitate towards lighter movies, such as comedies, that help break free from their anxiety and tension. The seeming contradiction of such movies’ levels of openness can be explained by combining the predictable plot of action movies with original content, creating a natural appeal to the nonconformist.
Romance: A Preference for the Conscientious and Neurotic
People gravitating towards romance films lean towards the more conscientious, workload-driven, and emotionally unstable side of personality traits spectrum. Males exhibited a more open nature towards the genre. Predictable plots and similar characters draw more conscientious viewers, while happy endings bring relief to the neurotic seeking comfort from their anxieties and stressors.
Fantasy: A Genre for the Open-Minded and Introverted
Individuals who like watching fantasy movies displayed more openness, innovation, and adventure, and less extroverted, introverted traits. Originality, creativity, and intellectual appeal associated with these movies could explain why more innovative movie-watchers engage with this genre. Additionally, such inclination towards fantasy and imagination appeals more to introverted people.
In conclusion, the research highlights a strong correlation between film genre preferences and personality characteristics. While certain preferences might be expected or anticipated, such as increased introversion among fantasy movie-watchers, surprising findings, such as fans of horror movies being less socially extroverted, among others. While these findings have been observed in a particular sample, further research might shed more light on such relationships and help us better understand ourselves through our media preferences.