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The Psychology of Entertainment

Mark Harris



On the private and public forms of entertainment and the psychological mechanisms in entertainment

Entertainment has many dimensions and could be personal/private or more general and public forms of entertainment. When we play with our mates that is a personal form of entertainment and when we sit and watch a movie on the screen that is a more general form of entertainment as we are sharing the experience with many others. There are some differences in our perception of private and public forms of entertainment as personal entertainment will always be based on personal experiences, our personal worldview and will be determined by personal interactions.

The more general and public forms of entertainment are less interactive and there seems to be this basic contradiction as all personal forms of entertainment are more interactive and public forms of entertainment are more personal and private. This scenario has been changing with television programs increasing audience participation in the program however interaction patterns between entertainers and viewers in any public entertainment scenario remain within strict limits and boundaries.

Entertainment takes us to a different world and feeds our need for fantasy and an escape from real life. This is especially true for entertainment that is more public or provided by the media and entertainment provided by films, theatre, music, and all forms of creative art. Films and theatre transposes us to a world of fantasy and grabs our attention so we remain engrossed as almost a part of this alternative reality. Entertainment could also be in the form of magazine stories and gossip or even celebrity culture and the psychology of entertainment could also explain the extreme craze of celebrity culture that we have in the modern world.

Celebrities seem to open up a world of fantasies and for some people knowing every move of celebrities could bring immense satisfaction as it would almost mean participating in fantasies. Fantasies help in overcoming frustrations and serve as therapeutic as they aid in the escape from realities of life. Real emotions and real life are stressful and entertainment helps us to move beyond real life and moments of stress to participate in fantasies that are soothing as we do not have to be directly involved in these fantasies and yet as spectators we can still participate in a tacit or passive manner.

Participation in any book, film or creative art is almost like sitting on a reclining chair that has the technology to soothe your muscles while you relax. In the case of entertainment we participate almost in a passive manner and although we may be very alert and awake in the process of watching a movie, entertainment gives us the illusion of non participation as we don’t have the opportunity to get voluntarily involved in the scenario. Anything that gives us some form of pleasure could be considered as entertainment although entertainment could also give us pain as when we cry when we get emotionally involved with characters while we watch a movie.

Entertainment could trigger emotional involvement and emotional reactions such as happiness, sorrow, anxiety, fear and despite these strong emotional participation, there is little or no physical activity necessary on the part of the viewer. This active-passive process is the main attraction of entertainment as entertainment enables us to be both active (in terms of emotion) and passive (in terms of physical or voluntary mental involvement). Entertainment means like films are influential yet they influence subtly rather than aggressively and this subtle influence seems to work better on the human mind than any aggressive forms of influence. We see work as duty and entertainment as pleasure although both involve some form of emotional involvement. Work at the same time requires voluntary participation, decision making and physical involvement along with emotional involvement.

Yet why is work perceived as something heavy and entertainment as methods of relaxation? The answer is unpredictability. In case of entertainment, in most cases we may not even know what to expect from a movie or a music video. This unpredictability triggers our interest as we are unable to predict what emotional states would be evoked during this mental adventure. Entertainment is usually a form of mental and emotional adventure. In cases where we do know what a movie is about, it is the feeling of emotional familiarity that drives us to experience what we already know. Suppose a video game gave us a pleasurable feeling or evoked aggression and competitiveness in us, we go back to feel the same emotion as it was pleasurable or exciting. Stretched too far these forms of entertainment could easily become addictive.

Coming back to the distinction of work and entertainment or play, work involves responsibility and despite the emotional involvement in entertainment, apart from being a passive participant, we do not have to be responsible for anything, there is no problem solving or decision making and that is how entertainment in all its form is so pleasurable as the right brain activities of decision making and the cortical regions of the brain are not activated completely yet the pleasure sensations and emotions such as the hypothalamus and left brain activities are usually activated so we tend to associated entertainment with emotions rather than problem solving and decision making.

We humans are rational beings and yet emotions still seem to rule our lives and form the core of our existence as emotions still draw us to do things that may be irrational. Entertainment being primarily emotion provoking rather than reason provoking has a major impact on people’s lives. Appreciating any forms of entertainment could switch from the stages of interest to emotional involvement and finally addiction. The celebrity culture is a direct result of the last stages of appreciation for entertainment.

An interest in celebrities comes from emotional involvement with characters in movies and there may be substantial lack of differentiating fantasy and reality so fans of celebrities are more in love with the characters these celebrities play or the traits they project rather than the personality of celebrities. The celebrity culture seems to take people to a persistent fantasy world and individuals are seen as discussing all aspects of celebrities from their shoes to their hairstyle to the cars they possess. This sort of culture could however be explained with individual need to escape reality and identify with someone in a fantasy world and would be an important element in the study of fantasy.

The study of entertainment brings out many psychological aspects of active-passive participation in emotional or mental adventure and these could be

1. Identification – Viewers often identify with characters in movies or figures in art and this strong identification helps explain the value of entertainment. Young children have seen to imitate film stars as they begin identifying with movie characters.

2. Fantasy – Entertainment feeds on the need for fantasy in people and provides an escape route from the real world. Addiction to entertainment could be the basis of reality anxiety in people.

3. Projection – Individuals tend to project their own emotions or state of mind on to a painting or a song and could derive pleasure from this

4. Regression – Entertainment could often remind individuals of their past or a part of their own life they may have forgotten and in some cases bring out the child in them. For example when older people enjoy video games, it brings back their childhood and they may become addicted to this sort of entertainment.

5. Sublimation – Entertainment is also a form of sublimation of our impulsive desires and this especially true when we participate in entertainment as in the interpretation of art

6. Displacement – In non participative and passive forms of entertainment, individuals tend to escape from reality and displace their emotions from real people to characters in movies. For example a teenager in love with a girl whom he cannot attain may fall in love with a character of a movie who may have similarities with his dream girl.

All of the above processes are ego defense mechanisms delineated by Freud and the interplay of so many defense mechanisms in entertainment suggest that entertainment is more than simply a source of pleasure and could trigger complex psychological processes in the human mind. More research would be required in this field of psychology for a complete understanding of the advantages or disadvantages of entertainment in modern society.

From Reflections in Psychology – Saberi Roy

Source by Saberi Roy



Fake black Instagram model is causing controversy





It was only recently that Cameron James Wilson revealed that Shudu was entirely computer-generated, with her followers previously under the impression that she was a real person.

Shudu Gram, is the world’s first ever digital supermodel! She has attracted tens of thousands of eyes for being the unique concept and there are positives but there is also criticism ranging as to a white man focused on a racist concept.

With a blink of an eye, a new trend has come up.

Nevertheless, the concept definitely deserves enlightenment.

Cameron James Wilson is a 28-year old white British photographer based in London. He’s spent the last years working within the fashion sector and has made a name for himself as a beauty, fashion and celebrity photographer.

The successful photographer taught himself how to create three-dimensional art online, which is how Shudu Gram was conceived.

Wilson told Refinery 29

“Basically Shudu is my creation, she’s my art piece…” He also went on to say

“She is not a real model, unfortunately, but she represents a lot of the real models of today. There’s a big kind of movement with dark skin models, so she represents them and is inspired by them.”

Although a cool concept some worry that Wilson’s monetization of the new “Dark Skin fetish” seen in media is one that stems in a deep history of social injustice.

Rihanna’s cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty, even shared a photo of Shudu on their Instagram account that shows her wearing a shade of the makeup line’s lipstick.

People also took to twitter to voice their opinions some saying.

Author at Africa Classifieds

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DVD Entertainment – An Alternative to Television Programming

Mark Harris



DVD entertainment used to be the once a week family ritual Sunday night after dinner when the kids were young. We would clear the table, do the dishes, get everyone comfy on the sofa and watch one or two DVD movies the whole family could enjoy … which usually were Disney movies the kids wanted to see. Or see again. There is an unwritten rule that, as a parent, you gotta love Walt Disney.

Now the kids are grown and (mostly) gone and I am too busy Most of the time to sit in front of the television waiting for something interesting to come on. As my time has become more precious to me, television commercials have become an unacceptable annoyance in what should be an absolutely enjoyable time for me to see what I choose to watch without constant program interruptions.

What used to be an infrequent use of DVD entertainment has just become about a mainstay as far as what I watch on television. Although there are a few programs on local network broadcasting I will watch with my husband once in awhile, it is only to spend companionable time with him. The television is rarely turned on when he is away.

While never a fan of commercial television, living in the north woods of Wisconsin when there were only three local channels we could get with extra aluminum foil on the rabbit ears made it easy to ignore the bad in order to have some connection with the outside world . My tolerance for all things annoying was much higher back then as well but there was no way to justify paying for cable television.

When we moved to the Milwaukee area in 1988 we suddenly had a dozen network channels at our disposal without subscribing to cable. And we had two PBS stations to work with. It was a change in lifestyle. PBS offered absolutely great programming for the kids and became much more of a staple for family entertainment than the hideously commercial infested programs on network television. The children were responding to marketing directed toward them and that was both disturbing and difficult to counteract. Once they started school it was impossible.

Early on, purchasing recorded programs on VHS tapes became a way to give the children what we felt was good entertainment without causing too many problems most of the time. There were a few super heroes that managed a try to live vicariously through our son or twice but no serious harm was done. We were all very grateful for that.

It can be hard to tell what devices or triggers are embedded in programs or movies we watch online or on television today. Marketing used to be so much more obvious and straightforward; here is our product, this is what it does, this is how you benefit, now buy it. Today big dollar marketing is based on brain wave patterns, and psychological triggers that are intended to give us a sense of urgency and desire; here is our product which is a very limited edition and only a tiny few are available right now, it will do whatever you must buy it now, you must buy it now buy it now.

Very gradually the children began to see marketing for what it was but they still wanted the products that were marketed to them. This was right at the same time that DVD entertainment became available and we immediately began to convert from VHS to DVD whenever we had the purchasing choice. Local and online DVD rental became a much more frequent and encouraged thing in our house from that point forward if there was nothing interesting to watch on PBS.

When PBS was forced to plead for money on a regular basis instead of showing commercials to pay for their programming, at first I contributed. When the pleading began to happen every few weeks and last for a couple of weeks at a time so messing up any previous viewing schedule I had enjoyed, I stopped watching PBS on a regular basis. I gave up on TV just about completely but I missed my shows. I bought the television shows I wanted to see on DVD! Problem solved.

Today I prefer to watch DVD movies or television shows on DVD so that I can control the marketing instead of having it control my time. More and more DVDs are front loaded with unavoidable interruptions mostly in the form of trailers for other DVDs. It is easy and fun to fast forward through these to get the main menu as quickly as possible. It might even be fun to watch them once, but again I dislike the lack of choice in watching what I want to watch and nothing more.

So even while DVD entertainment is not perfect, it offers one choice of freedom from being forced to end the work of marketing geniuses who target viewers in every program on television. It is also looking more affordable with the next generation of media storage called Blu-ray entering the market as a step up. Eventually Blu-ray will rule the world and DVD entertainment will be a blur in the history books. Progress is good!

Source by Pauline Trabert

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The Problem With Entertainment News Today

Mark Harris



Have you noticed the most recent news today? Have you noticed how much of the important news and issues facing society today are pushed more and more onto the "back burner?" This is because more and more the media is focused on the entertainment industries, rather than "real news." That's both the blessing and the curse for entertainment news today, it becomes good for the entertainment industry and bad for the REAL news industry.

What the major problem with focusing on nothing but entertainment-related "news" is, is the fact that our society is not keeping itself informed about the major issues and current events in our society when they are constantly bombarded with nothing but entertainment industry "news . " The complacency with which most have ALLOWED this to occur is the saddest part of this, because the average person no longer cares about major issues or world events.

And what's even worse is that what television, magazines and internet sources are calling entertainment news today is no longer even "real" news, but merely like a constantly running gossip column. When the highlight of a news piece is what someone bought at a convenience store, what color their hair is today, or whether or not they and their significant other is having problems- that's not news, it's merely gossip.

Not to mention, whenever celebrities are constantly followed around by money-hungry gossip magazine photographers or constantly speculated upon by numerous different persons in the media, their privacy and basic human rights are trampled on. All for the sake of so-called "news."

The average person does not get their face splashed all over the media anytime they buy a gallon of milk, a box of condoms or get a speeding ticket- is it right to force that up celebrities just because they're famous and call it " news? " That is the biggest part of the problem with entertainment news today, things that are not really newsworthy are being reported and discussed as if they were.

What one needs to do, if they're fed up with the lack of newsworthy reporting in the media is to complain to the media companies, newspapers and magazines about the lack of quality news that is being put out by the media companies. If enough people take the initiative and make a stand and demand better news and reporting, then the media will change to give people what they want.

If people do not demand change, and stay complacent about the condition of the news and reporting processes, then entertainment news today will stay as it is, and the media will continue to report on non-newsworthy items such as who ate what for breakfast, how much someone's ridiculously large diamond ring cost, and who got a speeding ticket the night before.

Source by Wendy Pan

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