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Love Trashy Movies? You are Probably Smart, According to Study

Oct 14, 2016 04:07 AM EDT
Watching Movie
"Trashy" movies may also give "positive" entertainment, according to the study.
(Photo : Pavlofox)

Hear ye, hear ye! You can now embrace with your "not-so-artsy" and "tasteless" movies with gusto as a study shows that your love for trashy films might also mean you are smart too.

According to the study published in interdisciplinary arts and culture journal Poetics, people who have "bad" preferences in movies or what we call "trashy" movies tend to be smart. Film scholar, Keyvan Sarkhosh of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany, conducted a survey that reveals this surprising twist.

Sarkhosh used data results of an online survey which asked 372 participants -- composed of university students and people whose online presence on Facebook and on trashy film-related forums are felt -- to give 20 words at most that are instantly related to the term "trash." They were also asked to describe how they feel with trashy films, how often do they watch them, and in what context do they watch it. The survey also asked the participants to list down 20 films that they believe are trashy. There were no pre-selected films, Sarkhosh told The Huffington Post.

It was soon found that the participants -- with mean age of 34.6 years -- tend to watch trashy films because it provides them humor and entertainment. The study also uncovered that they appreciate trashy film as well as art films -- no competition there. Still not convinced? An 84 percent of the group have university degrees, meaning most of them are educated, and they are deem to be watching trashy film regularly.

"We are dealing here with an audience with above-average education, which one could describe as 'cultural omnivores,'" he explained. "Such viewers are interested in a broad spectrum of art and media across the traditional boundaries of high and popular culture."

"Questionnaires are designed to uncover the relationship of trash-films to other modes of filmmaking and distribution like blockbuster films, Hollywood mainstream or art-house cinema," Sarkhosh said. "We also asked for the general art, media and film genre preferences of our participants."

The study focuses on how something can be identified as cheap and worthless 'trash' and still be embraced and (re-)evaluated as providing positive enjoyment. Sarkhosh tells it "a sustained and deliberate hedonic habitude devoid of guilt feelings."

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