Emotionally Difficult Movies Help People Navigate Life, According to OSU Study

Watching meaningful, moving or emotionally stirring films can help people feel more prepared to deal with the challenges in life or even want to be a better person, this according to a new study from OSU.

The results of the study suggest one reason why we choose to see movies that run the gamut of emotions (happy to sad) and that explore difficult subjects that aren’t necessarily uplifting.

The findings point to one reason why people may choose to see movies that make them sad as well as happy and that may explore difficult subjects that aren’t always uplifting.

Researchers discovered that people associated positive reactions like being better able to accept the human condition or deal with life’s problems when watching a film like The Shawshank Redemption but reported these experiences less with films like Catch Me if You Can.

Meaningful movies, according to the study authors, help people cope with difficulties in their own lives and help them want to seek more significant goals.

 

Researchers Study High School Students’ Academic Motivation

Parents and guardians of high school student may share a common fear: that if their student isn’t motivated to do well in school there is nothing that can be done about it. However, a new study that followed 1,600 high school students over 2 years found that their scholastic motivation did change and usually for the better.

The study demonstrated that if a students’ sense of belonging in school was increased so did their motivation for academics.

Study leaders stated that students with lower levels of motivation tend to shift toward “an adaptive profile” that include better motivational characteristics over time. Meaning that for many students their motivation could increase, even drastically, from freshmen to senior year.

The research demonstrated that motivation is more complex than people think. Students motivations were multifaceted, there are different types of motivation that drive academic behavior. Some students just love to learn, while others are willing to learn because of the hope of a career.

The study place participants in six categories ranging from amotivated to autonomous—from having absolutely no motivation to needing not outside influence to learn.

The “Journal of Educational Psychology” published the work.