Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Psychology of Fiction

So, lately I've been very interesting in the subject of Psychology of Fiction.
This research area includes diagnosing the fictional characters you read about.
I would love to actually do this with many of my favorite, or not, characters!
It's so interesting!

Also, it can be very helpful.
According to DeFife "when people find out that someone is a psychologist, the first thing they usually say is: "That's cool." This is followed by: "Uh oh, you're analyzing me right now," (and usually we are), or "You know, I took a college course/got an undergraduate degree in psychology" (worth major academic street cred), or "Hey, I bet you can read my mind," (ESP being one of the required courses in psychology graduate school).  Next, they want to hear how one would diagnose their friend/family member/self/dog.
Talking about famous figures that almost everybody knows something about is one way that psychologists might try to avoid this conundrum. Unfortunately, it's not ethical for psychologists to diagnose people they've never met or interviewed. It's not polite either, because no one wants to be called things by people they've never met. [...]

Fictional characters, on the other hand, are ideal targets for psychologists to diagnose with mental illnesses or personality defects. Diagnosing fictional characters is fun (because people love good fictional characters), allows the public to learn about mental illnesses which they may or may not have, and offers opportunities for psychologists to feel smart and get public recognition. Everybody wins. Except for the fictional characters who might get a bad reputation, but they don't have their feelings hurt by such discussions."

{Written in with the title Stuff Psychologists Like - Diagnosing Fictional Characters  by

More interesting diagnoses about well-known fictional people can be found at and specifically at the thread with some awesome examples such as
  • Cornelius Fudge in Harry Potter: Paranoia
  • Severus Snape in Harry Potter: Schizoid

  • Another interesting factor that can be discussed is how people subconsciously become their favorite fictional characters, according to
    Psychologists have discovered that while reading a book or story, people are prone to subconsciously adopt their behavior, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses to that of fictional characters as if they were their own

    There is also a book about Dexter, the famous protagonist of the homonymous popular TV series.
    It's called The Psychology of Dexter, and is written by Bella DePaulo.
    I totally plan on reading it soon.
    After watching the series, of course, because I've noticed by reading the reviews that many spoilers appear on the book.

    All in all, I find the whole subject of psychology of fiction very interesting.
    I totally plan on researching it more.


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