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Can ‘Paranormal Activity’ and ‘Saw’ Mess With Your Finances?

'Paranormal Activity,' 'Saw'
Paramount Pictures / The Pollen, Flickr / Twisted Pictures

While watching horror movies might seem like harmless fun, it could end up costing you more than the price of a ticket or a rental, say researchers.

A study to come out of the University of California, Berkeley found that scary movies can affect our financial decisions. Participants were split into two groups, one given horror films to watch and the other historical documentaries. Afterward, both groups participated in stock market simulations.

The researchers found that those who had just been freaked out by on-screen suspense and gore sold their stocks faster and, on a whole, these decisions resulted in them doing worse in the simulation than the documentary watchers.

These findings suggest that controlling fear, whether it comes from a scary movie or elsewhere, is an important factor in making sound investment decisions.


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