Do your movie preferences tell us more about who you are?

You are what you eat but are you what you watch? Visual media is very much a part of our lives, such as watching a movie. About it, there is no doubt. We watch films in movie theaters. Online, we watch videos. On our television sets, we watch movies. Our usage, based on the ease of access to such content, is growing.

Although it is evident that we consume a lot of media content on a regular basis, what is less apparent is the characteristics of individuals who favor a particular genre. Most of the research done on this subject has independently concentrated on characteristics of gender and personality as they contribute to media attitudes.

First, to express those aspects of their personality, people use film tastes-this can happen with or without understanding and more or less directly. For example, by saying how much he enjoys watching the entire “Rambo”, “Die Hard” or “Lethal Weapon” series, the “macho man” can unintentionally expose his masculine personality. In fact, the scores of masculinity and aggression (the two characteristics of being a macho man) could be associated not only with preferences for action films, but with each of the individual characteristics that constitute a flick of a macho man.

Next, film tastes represent attitudes or assessments that help to organize a larger system of principles or schemes and are organized by them. For example, if you care a lot about human rights, you’ll probably enjoy Spielberg’s “Colour Purple” or “Schindler’s List” much more than if you don’t care at all about human rights, while you’ll probably enjoy Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” or “Scarface” if you’re obsessed with power and money. These connections, however, are only interesting for theoretical purposes because all popular films are based on more or less universal themes (e.g. independence, passion, power and death), making it very difficult to profile personalities.

Finally, personality characteristics can predict why we watch movies or what we use movies for, the most interesting explanation for connecting personality and movie choice. More precisely, this suggests that a) film-watching performs crucial psychological roles, ranging from b) person to person, and c) film to film. However, if we define the key roles or motivations underlying film tastes, on the basis of these dimensions, it should be possible to classify both films and individuals, which would ultimately allow us to match people appropriately with the right films.

Let’s break it down to genres as examples.

  1. Horror

There were less agreeable (less altruistic), less extroverted (more reserved), and more neurotic (more anxious and tense) individuals who gravitated towards horror movies. According to the report, the fact that people who hate horror films are more agreeable and prefer a move that shows images of compassion and warmth (not brutality), which is in line with their personality characteristics, can explain the lower agreeability.

This result is perhaps a little puzzling with respect to lower levels of extroversion, as it has been suggested that extroverts prefer to like horror films. By noting that extroverts avoid a lot of media consumption and gravitate toward social contact, Finn offers a potential explanation. As the majority of research points in the other direction, it is difficult to understand why more neurotic people would prefer horror films.

2. Action

More conscientious (hard working), less neurotic (less emotionally stable), and more accessible (creative and adventurous) are people who like action movies. And as with the comedy genre, females who displayed a preference for this genre (when both sexes did) were more accessible than males. The level of conscientiousness can be explained by the fact that there is always a preference for familiarity among such people. This is consistent with the familiar and repetitive storyline that is mostly associated with action movies.

3. Comedy

More open (more imaginative and adventurous) and slightly less diligent (less attention to detail and disorganized) were individuals who preferred the comedy genre. And women who showed a preference (when both sexes did) for this genre were more accessible than men.

4. Romance

Romance movies tend to prefer more conscientious (hard working) and more neurotic (more emotionally unstable) individuals. And males who showed a preference (when both sexes did) for this genre were more accessible than females. There are predictable plots and similar characters in romantic films, thus compatibility with attentive audiences. They often have happy endings, which offer comfort to the neurotic who can try to break free in his own life from stress and anxiety.

5. Fantasy

Liking fantasy movies seems to show greater openness (creative and adventurous) and (more reserved) lower levels of extroversion. The originality frequently associated with these movies can explain greater transparency. The plots are often also very imaginative and cater to the intellectual. For the second trait, a possible reason is that creativity and fantasy films go hand in hand. And it seems that creativity is something that introverts cultivate more than extroverts.

Your movie tastes might then seem to reveal more about you than you would initially think. The researchers agree that there are certain study limitations, such as the sample (only British) and the data source (Facebook), as is the case for any research. But I am sure there are certain characteristics that actually hold true for you while reading this. And more light will be shed on the subject through further research.

So, next time you watch a movie, you will figure out not only why you like it or hate it, but what your personality says about it. Similarly, by asking them if they love or dislike particular movies, if you go on a date with someone who might want to work out what they are like.

Check out my related post: Will we get a Spotify for TV shows and movies?

Interesting reads:

Movies prove to be reflective of your personality

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