Beyond a fear of death
- Prof. Enny Das (Principal Investigator)
- Dr Anneke de Graaf (Postdoc)
- Prof. Marieke Fransen (RU, Faculty Social Science)
- Dr Kobie van Krieken (Postdoc)
November 2019 – October 2023
Humans avoid thinking about death. Death is man’s biggest fear. Paradoxically, they are drawn to movies that feature death and tragedy. This proposal examines if humans use tragic entertainment to temporarily escape their fear of death, or to accept and rise above it.
Art can be a safe space to explore and change how you think about death. People do not like to think about death. Our research showed that movies about loss touched especially those viewers who were afraid to lose a loved one. They immersed in the story world especially when the movie provided closure to the loss. We also measured responses to the art installation ’This Body that Once Was You' (Bakels & Mascini, 2020), in which visitors visualised their own death. We found that art can invite people to emotionally process their fear of death and appreciate life more.
NWO (Open Competition)
Prof. Enny Das, email@example.com