The mistakes of others make us feel victorious.. That is why some are attracted to follow “scandals”

The desire to gossip and follow the secrets of others’ lives is a common human trait for many.

Rumors, scandals, and secrets of the lives of celebrities spread faster than the real news related to their work, and not just celebrities. News of scandals in general receives a strange popularity, so that those who criticize this strange tracking of news of scandals and rumors may be curious at times to see some of these news, which makes us wonder:

Why do some people enjoy tracking scandals and rumors?

The answer is complex and intertwined. On the one hand, the unconscious motive for this tracking may be a feeling of superiority and the consolidation of our ideal image of our moral thoughts and behavior in exchange for other shameful acts, or the desire to continue applying punishment to those who break societal rules, or follow-up to the scandal’s request for forgiveness, which enhances the feeling of victory. I have others who adhere to the rules.

But with some people, the motivation may be to test the experience of breaking these rules, or perhaps the excitement of the idea of ​​this person escaping from punishment after breaking this rule, and sometimes curiosity may be the engine, or even just a distraction from the problems of daily life or boring routine events, in addition. To some physiological explanations for the structure of the human brain regarding the desire to share news.

In general, it seems that this desire to gossip and follow the secrets of the lives of others is a common human characteristic for many, as a research conducted on 467 people in 2019 found that a person may spend about 52 minutes a day in gossiping, according to Published results In “Social Psychological and Personality Science” magazine.

Therefore, some psychologists believe that “gossip” and gossip are a type of social function that maintained social interaction in our ancestors, and it is considered a kind of cultural education in the traditions of society, because once a collective criticism of a behavior occurs, it warns others of the consequences of following this behavior What teaches others the ethical rules followed in society.

Gossip in the elderly builds a sense of bonding and closeness between the people who share it (pixels)


Scientists looked at brain imaging of a group of men and women when they heard positive and negative gossip about themselves, their friends and celebrities, and it was found that people who hear gossip, whether good or bad about themselves or those around them, show greater activity in the prefrontal cortex of their brains, which is responsible for dealing with behaviors. Complex socialization, which explains the human desire to be viewed favorably by others and to be socially appropriate.

While people felt excitement and activity in the amygdala nucleus in the thalamus of the brain when they heard news of scandals about celebrities, which means that they found it more entertaining, so that the level of feeling excited and happy reached higher levels than the brain reached when a person hears positive gossip about himself, as I found research results Which was published in the journal Social Neuroscience.

A sense of preference and a desire to apply societal rules

While other explanations see that the reason for tracking scandals is due to the continuous human desire to climb the social ladder and feel superior, and polish our moral image of ourselves, especially when we see others wrong and we are less wrong than them, while we theorize the moral behavior that society is supposed to be.

Also, there is a kind of pleasure in punishing the aggressor, and a collective sense of moral satisfaction when violating societal norms is punished, and sometimes there is a sense of power or preference and victory just by watching the scandalous ask forgiveness and apologize for his societal mistake, and here the person bound by the standards feels He was a better model than members of the community, because he did not make the same mistake, as an article for “Psychology Today” magazine explained. (Psychology Today) Scientific.

Some feel powerful or advantageous just by watching the scandalous person ask for forgiveness or apologize for his mistake (Pixels)

The temptation to break the rules or get away with it

The opposite may happen with some people, as they have a deep-rooted desire to break and violate the rules, but they do not dare to do so. However, seeing a person doing something that they could not do may constitute interesting news for them, and there is another pleasure in watching some people. When they get away with unacceptable behavior, this reinforces the feeling of “erotic experiences unpunished.”

Fun and distraction

With the daily routine of life and boring events, or perhaps problems and stressful events, some people in the news of scandals may find amusing consolation for some entertainment and distraction, especially when comparing the simple events in our lives with the scandals that not a few segment of society talks about.

Some people find in the news of scandals an amusing solace to have some fun and distraction (pixels)

feeling connected

In an interpretation carried by “Time” magazine, (Times) American about Stacey Torres, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, who has studied the effect of “gossip” on older adults, found that gossip contributes to building a sense of connectedness and closeness between people who share it, and it also reinforces their lack of loneliness because they find people who share the news, and agree with them. On their analysis and the position they take of them, it is also considered a form of entertainment.

In turn, a report published by “The Atlantic” magazine (The Atlantic) The American states that “gossip” is a good thing, because it makes the human society its societal standards in the form we know now, and that it has turned from a means of humiliating and defaming people, to a means of introducing culture and communicating with others, controlling the rules of right and wrong, and also measuring people’s success and social status, As well as being an opportunity to vent anger, and express frustration and annoyance.

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