Watching Rom Coms Actually Makes You A Better Person, Science Says

by Sean Abrams
Warner Bros. Pictures

Ladies and gentlemen: Watching "No Strings Attached" repetitively for days at a time is now less shameful than ever before!

A newly developed study has concluded that more frequent viewings of romantic comedies may ultimately turn you into a more sensitive, morally open individual.

A constant exposure to both romantic and action films for five weeks altered 87 college students' perspectives and general attitudes on five moral intuitions. These intuitions, as interpreted by psychologist Jonathan Haidt, are based off the ideas of loyalty, fairness, respect for authority, purity, and harm/care.

The participants' viewing habits were broken down into four sections, with a quarter watching exclusively romantic comedies, another quarter watching exclusively action films, and the rest watching either a 60/40 or 80/20 ratio of rom-com to action.

In the group that exclusively watched romantic comedies, researchers found that all that overwhelming love and affection made them more sensitive to four out of the five of the moral intuitions (except purity).

If you were one of the few stuck watching things get blown up and over-the-top shoot out scenes, well.. you pretty much felt the opposite effect due to heavy desensitizing.

I know that when I find myself glued to my bed on a rain day with a cheesy rom com on the TV, I immediately begin to feel like one big mush.

I'm already a tad overly sensitive, on top of being gay and painfully single, so if I switch off between "Friends With Benefits" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love," expect my desire to find a soulmate to be at an all-time high.

It's inevitable that viewing such emotionally charged pieces of cinema will bring out a sensitive side, especially if you're someone like me who would love to emulate the happenings of an on-screen romance.

It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day for me to laugh, cry and fall in love vicariously through other people.

Citations: Rom-Coms Heighten Viewers' Ethical Sensitivity (Pacific Standard), Does Repeated Exposure to Popular Media Strengthen Moral Intuitions?: Exploratory Evidence Regarding Consistent and Conflicted Moral Content (Taylor & Francis Online)