The next time you're about to head to an art gallery, try catching a
horror movie first. According to a new study, a dose of pure,
unadulterated terror can help people appreciate abstract art better.
For the study, a group of 85 participants were made to experience one of five different things before gazing abstract paintings by Russian artist El Lissitzky. One group watched a brief scary movie, another group watched a brief happy movie, two other groups performed either 30 or 15 jumping jacks while the control group did nothing beforehand.
According to Scientific American, the group that watched the scary movie were more likely to rate Lissitzky's art as more "sublime or positive", while the other groups didn't differ from their ratings. Based on this, the researchers believe that exposure to fear before viewing art can help evoke a raw emotional response which serves to enhance a particular artwork's immediate appeal.