Why the Brain Loves Mystery & Suspense

No matter in what medium, no matter fiction or non-fiction most of us read, listen to, or watch stories (commonly through films) for the sole purpose of entertainment to fuel ourselves with positive emotions of joy. But if that was entirely the case, why do people enjoy stories beyond just comedies? Whether it’s a semi-realistic thriller or a supernatural horror film, we still choose to indulge ourselves into scenes of mystery & suspense even though the genres’ elements are stress-inducing ones. This can include unexpected jumpscares or portrayals of real life stressful scenarios. So, how do these feed our brains with entertainment?

Mystery & Suspense in Entertainment

Mystery & Suspense in entertainment can come in many forms across many different mediums from ebooks to audiobooks to physical books to films and dramas and much more with endless possibilities. Based on personal preference, some may prefer to read as they can dive into each and every word at their own pace which can then make the scene even more suspensful for the reader. However, some may prefer a more visual representation whether live or through a screen can add to the scene with more senses of sight and sound which is particularly more suited to the mystery & suspense genre.

The Joy of Mystery & Suspense

The simple and straightforward reason as to why we enjoy the concept of mystery & suspense is that as naturally-curious creatures we enjoy figuring out the answer to something we don’t know. And the process becoming suspenseful fuels us with adrenaline, the tension releasing when the answer is revealed. This comes as a feeling of catharsis. Even though this can be a part of both non-fictional and fictional works, it is typically more enjoyable for the average person if it is fictional. Thus they would be aware and content with the fact that the story has a guaranteed ending (in most cases anyways), without placing themselves in the position of discomfort.


Mystery and suspense can come together in forms on entertainment even beyond thriller or horror movies. The enjoyment can also come from things such as sporting events, reality contests, video games, etc.

Written forms of mystery & suspense (whether read or listened to) are the most popular and have been for centuries, now offered here by Dizishore. 

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