Which is Correct: “Safety Valve” Theory of Catharsis or Desensitization Theory? We know from previous research that the “safety valve” theory posits the idea that horror – or even something like pornography – serves as a release for primal instincts and impulses. Conversely, we also know that the desensitization theory holds that people, if they are sufficiently exposed to stimuli that promote fear or consternation in them, will eventually learn to let go of their irrational fears and terrors because those fear and terrors are wholly unfounded. My position is that horror films or anything that provokes a strong reaction in us – or anything which causes us to live vicariously through something we see unfolding in a movie theatre or that we...The end:
.....t over certain emotional responses; it is foolish for us to try and think we can. As well, catharsis can reconnect us with our youth and can help us to remember earlier times in our lives that we need to recall for our sake or for someone else’s. In the end, catharsis gives us an outlet in a regimented world that forces us to wander through it half-wake. For that reason, I value this interpretation or theory of catharsis more so than the alternative vision that sees it merely as a means of desensitizing people to the general unpleasantness of the world. We need catharsis and it absolutely allows us to overcome our own repression. Works Cited King, Stephen. “My creature from the black lagoon.” Pp.52-58 (additional information not available).