How Fictional Characters Alters Our Thinking Process, Explains Study

Brain News: According to a recent study , it has been claimed that fictional character have significant impact on our thinking process.

A recent study highlights the workings inside our brains when we lose ourselves in the world of fictional TV shows. Researchers have found that the more fascinated people get into ‘becoming’ a fictional character, the more they use the same portion of the brain to think about the character which they use to think about themselves.

In this study, the brains of 19 individuals were scanned who had described themselves as fans of the series “Game of Thrones”. They were asked to think about themselves, nine of their friends and nine characters in the ”Game of Thrones”. Participants were asked to report which “Game of Thrones” character they felt closest to and liked the most.

Of all the key findings, one involved participants who scored highest on what is called “trait identification.” Such individuals not only get absorbed into the plot but also get absorbed into a particular character. They have also reported feeling what the character is feeling and thinking what the character is thinking.

“For some people, fiction is a chance to take on new identities, to see worlds through others’ eyes and return from those experiences changed,” adds Dylan Wanger, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State.

To Know More, You May Refer To:

Timothy W Broom, Robert S Chavez, Dylan D Wagner. Becoming the King in the North: identification with fictional characters is associated with greater self–other neural overlap. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2021; DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsab021

Mental Health Topics (A-Z)

  • How Fictional Characters Alters Our Thinking Process, Explains Study