Today in Research: Why We Enjoy Watching Sad Movies So Much

By The Atlantic Wire

Discovered: Crazy weather has a lot to do with climate change, why we like sad movies, another invisibility cloak (sort of), what made humans start walking less like apes and more like humans, and black holes are rude.

  • What made humans start walking less like apes and more like humans. Pretty simple, actually. We evolved to carry things we needed for survival. "Something as simple as carrying -- an activity we engage in every day -- may have, under the right conditions, led to upright walking and set our ancestors on a path apart from other apes that ultimately led to the origin of our kind," explained researcher Brian Richmond. At least that's the theory from studying chimps, the animal we came from. [George Washington University]
  • Why we like sad movies. Another day, another study that shows the selfishness of humanity. This crying thing has nothing to do with catharsis. Seeing others in pain reminds us of how good we have it, according to new research. "People seem to use tragedies as a way to reflect on the important relationships in their own life, to count their blessings," said researcher Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick. "That can help explain why tragedies are so popular with audiences, despite the sadness they induce." This indeed justifies the whole "needing a good cry" thing, which generally happens when one is down in the deepest of dumps and needs to feel better about life. Guess watching people who are worse off does the trick. [Ohio State]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/today-in-research-why-we-enjoy-watching-sad-movies-so-much/255051/