Immersion in fictional worlds allows us to own our dark side | Psyche Ideas - Deepstash

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Immersion in fictional worlds allows us to own our dark side | Psyche Ideas

https://psyche.co/ideas/immersion-in-fictional-worlds-allows-us-to-own-our-dark-side

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Immersion in fictional worlds allows us to own our dark side | Psyche Ideas
Our liking for fictional villains such as Voldemort tells us something about the dark side of our own personalities

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Dismissing our dark side

Dismissing our dark side

We strive to see ourselves as 'good' and feel, deep down, that we are fundamentally honest and moral. We tend to dismiss the idea that darkness could lie within us.

Research shows that we avoid others who seem similar to us but 'bad' in some way, such as learning about a serial killer who happens to like the same movie or food as us.

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Immersion in fictional worlds

People feel comfortable exploring perspectives in fiction that would be too disturbing in real life.

Studies show that people who possess a specific trait seem more drawn to fictional villains who show the same trait. For example, intelligent participants were drawn to intelligent villains, hot-headed people to hot-headed villains, etc. However, participants were uncomfortable identifying with real-life villains.

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Fictional villains

When it comes to fictional villains, people are drawn to villains that are similar to them. This is because fictional villains are harmless.

But when watching fictional villains in a social context, people are less likely to identify with the villain, fearing they may be judged harshly for their similarity.

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Familiar Traits

Psychologist Carl Jung had once hypothesized that the traits we find irritating in someone else can tell us a lot about ourselves. Many studies have confirmed this insight.

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The Villain Inside Us

New studies show that we tend to like villains who are like us. The researchers analyzed the data of thousands of members, revealing that while we like heroes, the villains who look cool and remind us of ourselves are very well-liked.

These studies pave the way for further investigation and research into our interpersonal relationships being affected by our (and others) positive and negative traits. They also explains why we go on loving our loved ones, even after being fully aware of their flaws.

Joker’s commentary on society

Joker’s commentary on society

Joker is a psychological movie, showing the dangers of group action and the power of group narratives.

It is a very interesting commentary on society as it mirrors the phenomenon of dei...

A dangerous movie

Many reviewers see the Joker as a dangerous film because it might inspire incels to identify with the character as a hero and copy him.

The real evil to be feared is a broken, frustrated society that is willing to participate in almost purposeless acts of violence, then put deeper meaning into it, and ultimately use it as a springboard for mass violence and brutality.

Society and Mass Violence

Gotham City in Joker is a fundamentally broken city.

  • Arthur Fleck (the Joker) is failed by every level of society.
  • However, every class in Joker wants to shift the blame.
  • When Arthur commits murder, society turns this purposeless act of violence into an act of social rebellion.
  • Despite knowing nothing about the reason for the murder, Gotham's people imbue it with shared meaning, forcing this event into their narrative, and held Joker as a hero.
  • When Arthur commits another purposeless murder, it sparks riots.
  • The real villain of the movie is the broader society that latches onto actions and imbues them with nonexistent meaning to justify their own crimes.

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Our Intuitions can be Wrong

The underlying cause of our bad behavior, procrastination, slacking or avoiding something that is beneficial may or may not be what we think it is.

We need to identify our own self-defeating ...

What We Believe In

If we believe that we are powerless and stop fighting against the enemy we've created, then we lose our inner strength and resistance to fight, as the body reacts according to our mind.

What our mind believes, our body accepts.

Finding an Enemy

Going anti-something, finding a villain, or a fictional antagonist to our lives makes us work harder, as a force awakens in us wanting to defeat the enemy.

We need to embrace this enemy in our lives and realize that even though this is just us fighting against ourselves, the fight is worth it.