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ABOUT Psychology of Horror

Horror media has the capability to leave you on the edge of your seat with your shoulders tensed all the way up around your ears, clenching your sweaty and cold hands in suspense of the next cinematic boo, that you somehow still will not be prepared for. While many trivialize this ability as an overreliance on cheap tricks, such as loud startle-inducing screams, this is far from the whole story. There is a science to it – a ‘Psychology of Horror’ if you will.

My name is Thomas Terkildsen. I am a psychologist and horror researcher, who specializes in affective computing with a focus on how to assess fear and presence in horror games using psychophysiological measures. I started this blog with the aim of scientifically exploring how and why these carefully crafted horror experiences are so terrifyingly good at eliciting full-body experiences of fear. Through this exploration, I hope to translate state-of-the-art research into actionable insights for film-makers, game-developers, user experience researchers and horror-enthusiasts alike.

As this blog is a passion project of mine, the content will generally be centered on my own research and interests, along with the occasional horror-game/tech prototype.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the site!

Thomas Terkildsen

Horror Researcher

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