Why do we get attached to fictional characters

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

We think the story is real

Why do we get attached to fictional characters?
And moreover why do we get very emotional when something happens to those characters?
Why do we get emotionally affected by the characters in TV series, movies or even books?

There are so many factors that could happen together and result in this phenomenon. The most important one of those factors is the subconscious mind's inability to differentiate between real and imagined experiences.

In my previous article why movies make us cry i explained how the belief that what's going on is real , at least from the subconscious mind's point of view, can easily allow us to get emotionally affected by movies and books.

But the important question now is, why do we get emotionally attached to certain characters and not others?

Why do we get attached to certain characters

  • 1) We identify with them: When a person sees a character that resembles him or that shares with him some common traits the person quickly identifies with the character. In other words you will always want that character that resembles you to win and never lose. For example the reason some people identify with Jon Snow in Game of thrones is that they are ,to a certain extent, righteous people like him. Of course there are many other reasons for liking Jon Snow but that's just an example to explain the concept.
  • 2) They have what we need: The reason many people like super heroes is that they display many of the qualities those people wish to posses. People like Batman because he is very strong , rich and handsome. When we find a fictional character having some of the important things we want we quickly admire them and get affected by them
  • 3) Associating them with positive feelings: Some fictional characters aren't liked right away but instead we progressively like them as they keep making us feeling good. In my book How to make someone fall in love with you i said that we tend to confuse the good emotions we experience at the presence of a person with the person himself. In other words as we keep feeling good while seeing or reading about those fictional characters we start liking them more
  • 4) They help us release our frustration: All books, games, movies and TV series utilize one important concept which is frustrating people , by introducing a bad villain for example, then helping them release that frustration later on. As some fictional characters help us release the frustration that was built up we tend to get emotionally connected to them. See Why game of thrones is so addictive and Why we get addicted to TV series
  • 5) We get familiar with them: As a person keeps watching a series for a long period of time or reading a long series of books he will get more familiar with the characters until they become to him like close friends. According to the mere exposure effect we tend to like the people we interact with more often.
  • 6) Emotions can manipulate our minds: In the beginning of this article i said that the subconscious mind usually believes all what it sees or reads. The addition of emotions to this equation can make the experience more intense. If for example a fictional character did something that provoked strong positive emotions then the attachment towards him will grow stronger

What can this tell you about our brains

Those facts should have made you conclude that manipulating the human mind is very easy provided that the right things are done.

As much as humans appear like rational beings they do have a subconscious mind that acts like a little child.

This is also another reason why people do illogical things, have double standards and believe in superstition. It's just the fact that the subconscious mind can easily be controlled.

In the Ultimate guide to Developing super powers you will know how to hypnotize people, seduce them, control their minds, read their faces and be more like a super human. If you are interested in getting that kind of power then check the course out.

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