Top Science on Covid-19: Horror fans and morbidly curious individuals are more psychologically resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic


Pandemic practice: Horror fans and morbidly curious individuals are more psychologically resilient during the COVID-19 pandemicexternal icon. Scrivner et al. Personality and Individual Differences (September 15, 2020).

Key findings:

  • Horror fandom was significantly associated with lower psychological distress during the current COVID-19 pandemic (p = 0.006) but not with positive resilience or pandemic preparedness.
  • Fandom of prepper genres (zombie, apocalyptic, alien-invasion) was associated with lower psychological distress (p = 0.030) and greater COVID-19 pandemic preparedness (p = 0.014).
  • Morbid curiosity (a trait that motivates a person to learn about dangerous or threatening phenomena) was significantly associated with positive resilience during the pandemic (p <0.001).
  • Watching pandemic films in the past was significantly related to pandemic preparedness (p = 0.003) (Figure).

Methods: 322 US adults recruited and surveyed online in April 2020 with questions on movie genre fandom, COVID-19 pandemic preparedness, pandemic psychological resilience and personality traits. Limitations: Not representative or generalizable; no causality can be inferred; limited confounding covariates.

Implications: Fans of horror or prepper fiction and films and those with morbid curiosity may be more psychologically resilient and prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic. More research would need to be done before recommending engagement with horror or prepper media to increase resilience.

Source: Pandemic practice: Horror fans and morbidly curious individuals are more psychologically resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic

Surprise medical billing and “balance billing”

We view our own health care providers as benevolent and altruistic. Unfortunately, many of them work for blood sucking evil accounting offices whose sole focus is to bleed you to death financially:

Too often after a hospital procedure or visit to an emergency room patients get hit with unexpected bills from out-of-network doctors they had no role in choosing. These include assistant surgeons, emergency room doctors and anesthesiologists.

Source: Health insurance premiums could drop 5% if the U.S. banned surprise medical bills – MarketWatch

We just ran into balance billing. The local monopoly accepted a usual and customary reduced payment from a third party group payer. But then turned around and billed us for the entire remaining amount.

This is known as highway robbery by those altruistic health care practitioners.

Continue reading Surprise medical billing and “balance billing”

Car Seats as Contraception 

The unintended consequences of laws – the end of 3 children families.


Since 1977, U.S. states have passed laws steadily raising the age for which a child must ride in a car safety seat. These laws significantly raise the cost of having a third child, as many regular-sized cars cannot fit three child seats in the back. Using census data and state-year variation in laws, we estimate that when women have two children of ages requiring mandated car seats, they have a lower annual probability of giving birth by 0.73 percentage points. Consistent with a causal channel, this effect is limited to third child births, is concentrated in households with access to a car, and is larger when a male is present (when both front seats are likely to be occupied). We estimate that these laws prevented only 57 car crash fatalities of children nationwide in 2017. Simultaneously, they led to a permanent reduction of approximately 8,000 births in the same year, and 145,000 fewer births since 1980, with 90% of this decline being since 2000.

Source: Car Seats as Contraception by Jordan Nickerson, David H. Solomon :: SSRN