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From Tarantino to Squid Game: why do so many people enjoy violence?

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash Last month, more than 100 million people watched the gory Netflix show, Squid Game. Whether or not screen violence is bad for us has been extensively studied. The consensus is that it can have negative effects. But the question of why we are drawn to watch violence has received much less attention. Death, blood and violence have always pulled a crowd. Ancient Romans flocked to carnage in the Colosseum . In later centuries, public executions were big box-office . In the modern era, the film director Quentin Tarantino believes that: “ In movies, violence is cool. I like it ”. Many of us seem to agree with him. A study of high-grossing movies found 90% had a segment where the main character was involved in violence. Similarly, most Americans enjoy horror films and watch them several times a year. Who is watching this stuff? Some people are more likely to enjoy violent media than others. Being male, aggressive and having less empathy all make y

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