Psychology of Entertainment

Celebrities, television, and music- these are just a few kinds of entertainment, but why do people love them so much? It may be a dull-witted question but the answer is obviously because they’re so entertaining. Therefore, let’s rephrase it, why are these things so entertaining that a lot of people spend nearly every available time engaged with them?

The answer happens to be the same answer of the question to why people love foods loaded with salt and fat: entertainment knocks into features of our developmental conditioned mental and emotional heritage. Current entertainment forms upon some really strong integrated human neural processes, resulting to a Big Mac for your brain.

However, this doesn’t mean that our ancestors, thousands of years ago were squatting around the fire and contemplating, “This is seriously boring, I wish we own a flat screen television.” But, they’re most likely narrating stories. Ultimately, there is no anthropologist, current or past, who has argued to observe a human culture that doesn’t include various types of narratives.

To be able to fully comprehend the human lust for stories, we must absorb the significance of imitation in the human being’s social and cognitive processes. Most of us think that imitation is fairly a low-level mental ability which reflects the saying, “monkey see, monkey do.” However, real imitation behavior is extremely complex and is undoubtedly limited to our kind. True imitation involves not just doing what someone else does, but it also means absorbing what someone else is up to.

Several psychologists, including Michael Tomasello, have argued that a human being’s virtual automatic capacity – possibly based on mirror neuron systems in the brain – to quickly comprehend what other individuals are doing is the single most important evolutionary development that makes us different from other primates. This lets us cooperate with others in constructing human culture and language.

The human being’s capacity to grasp views other than his/her own is also what makes it so easy for people to enter into an imaginative situation, for example, a story. And we people really enter into stories. As a development psychologist indicated, the imitative capacities of one’s mind allow us to nearly occupy a fictional position, so that our thoughts and emotions start to be shaped more by fiction than by our real-life state.

Currently, we now have VR movies and surround sound and computer-enhanced imagery, all kinds of technologies that allow us to dive deeper into our beloved fictions. It’s like a strong, mind changing drug, except it’s legal and 100% safe. It’s not surprising that entertainment is so entertaining.