Updated: Apr 8
I found some great research and shared this on my fandom tumblr blog. I thought it was very important for all of us in the fiction loving world to take a peek at the insights of Psychology Today writers. (Here is the Tumblr Link.)
In a 2018 study, researchers reviewed experiments on the effect of reading fiction. They found that it modestly improves people’s capacity to understand and mentally react to other individuals and social situations. And by and large, that was after reading a single story.
People go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn't do it twice. You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you. That's certainly true of people who go to entertainment products like horror films that have big effects.
How Big a Fan Are You? - Research shows that being a fan can shape our very sense of identity.
Being a fan has become more than just showing appreciation for something enjoyable, it's become a way for people to share their lives with one another.
In the case of the Harry Potter books, self-described fans reading the final book installment displayed symptoms that strongly resemble the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-IV criteria for addiction. This includes withdrawal, depression, and loss of motivation as long as six month after finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Being a fan can be rough at times.
Most of us can relate to this because when you fall in love with a story world, you want everyone to come and see what you love about it
The truth is that it is not possible to understand contemporary TV or film franchises, even the most highbrow and sophisticated choices the artists make, without understanding shipping and its influence on the creative process.
Shipping reveals a lot about our society and about just how lonely and unloved people often feel. It is this loneliness that fuels the need to experience romance and love at least vicariously. And what better way is there to do so than shipping?