TV series make you cry? So much the better, according to science


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According to an American study, crying in front of series or movies would have many advantages. We explain why.

Who has never cried in front of an episode of their favorite series, when the characters separate, die or leave the show? When our favorite fictional characters go through tough times, their fans often struggle to recover. While some believe that this attachment is problematic, scientists are proving the opposite.

According to Jennifer Barnes, at the origin of a study taken over by the magazine Time, the type of relationship we have with fictional characters is “Parasocial”, that is, it only works in one direction. Indeed, we know absolutely everything about their life, but not her.they because he.she. do not exist. “Our brain is not designed to differentiate a real relationship from a fictitious one”, she says. According to this assistant professor of psychology at the University of Oklahoma, these kinds of relationships bring “Many benefits in real life”. Among them: higher self-esteem, reduced feelings of loneliness and a stronger sense of belonging. “When you spend an hour with the same character on a regular basis, for a whole season, he kind of becomes a friend and it’s only normal to feel upset because of him”, she adds.

Watching series to show more emotional intelligence?

In a previous study Unveiled in 2015, Jennifer Barnes had discovered that series improved our ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of others. We are talking about emotional intelligence here. Taking the example of The Good Wife, Barnes and his teams have proven that people who saw an episode of this series were better able to identify the emotions conveyed by photos of human faces, unlike people who only like documentaries or never watch television. . So immersing yourself in television programs that address human emotions and compassion would therefore make viewers kinder to others.

Paul J. Zak, another American researcher, was also interested in the subject and came to the same conclusions. He adds in his study that crying easily is also a sign of great mental strength. In Psychology Today, he even explains that shedding tears releases oxytocin, a hormone linked to empathy, and that this requires more than average mental strength. As you will have understood, if research says so, there is no longer any reason to hide your tears in front of your favorite series or film.

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