7 Reasons People Like to Watch the Walking Dead

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do so many people watch it?

According to Wikipedia more than 17 million Americans watched the first episode of season 5 of the walking dead series. This number doesn't include the international audience who watch the episodes online. I first heard about the Walking dead through a friend of mine and when i decided to give it a try i couldn't stop.

I watched all seasons in few weeks then i kept eagerly waiting for new releases. Today i am eagerly waiting for the release of season 6 which is expected in fall 2015. As i kept watching all of the old episodes the psychologist in me was restless. My mind was trying to analyze the reasons that made that wonderful Series very popular and the good news is that i found them.

1- We identify with survivors & Feel strong

When we watch a movie, play a game or watch a series we chose to identify with some of the actors (usually the Heroes & good people). When someone watches the walking dead he identifies with survivors, feels their pain and lives their experiences. This gives the person added confidence and makes him feel as strong as those survirors.

2- We escape from the cruel world

Zombies are cruel but they can't harm us because we know they are not real. Now when someone watches a series like that one he gets indulged in the experience and forgets about the real world with all of it's problems. In the world of walking dead there is no work problems, no horrible bosses and no money issues thus its the perfect escape from today's problems.

3- We become the ones we always wanted to be

You always wanted to be a leader of a pack? Then you will identify with Rick and feel like a leader. Because of the variety of characters in the Walking dead series each person can find a hero that he can identify with to satisfy his unmet needs.

4- We learn to become tough

In my previous article Why you should watch the walking dead i explained how the series can rewire your brain to make you tougher. After all the mirror neurons in our brains can easily allow us to imitate the people we are watching and to learn from them.

5- We get a lot of excitement in a relatively boring world

It's hard not to get excited or thrilled when you are trying to survive in a world infested by zombies. Most people find their lives boring and this is one of the main reasons they get addicted to games or movies. The dopamine rush we get when we watch a thriller always keeps us wanting more.

6- Because it's scarce

In my book How to make someone fall in love with you i explained how we find scarce things much more valuable than they truly are. Right now i am very frustrated because i will have to wait until October to watch season 6!

7- Unexpected surprises

The walking dead is very well written. It's full of unexpected twists and surprises. In my article about Candy Crush popularity i explained how unexpected rewards can provide us with an extra dose of motivation and keep us hooked up to whatever we are doing.

More factors

I'd be lying if i told you that this is everything. When something becomes popular it happens because of tens if not hundreds of reasons but i believe i pointed out here the most important ones. You must also put in mind that a person's belief system must be aligned with the theme of the series in order for him to like it.

For example some people find zombies ridiculous while others fear them. Those two groups might not get attracted to the walking dead at all and might never find it interesting.

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