Have you ever been left on a “cliffhanger” and wanted to throw your TV or book out the window? Well, it’s common for humans to get attached to fictional characters like perhaps Chanel Oberlin from Scream Queens, or Dean Winchester from Supernatural.
People dwell on the characters in a well loved book, or on screens, as if they were real people. But why do we get so invested in the characters lives? The short answer is empathy.
In our brain, empathy lives in a little lobe called the right supramarginal gyrus. When we interact with other humans, we try our very best to tell what they feeling.
Our gyrus decides who we trust and who we do not. When we find out the backstories, or truths, about fictional characters, that automatically makes us trust them.
We trust them because the book or show gives the illusion that they are telling us the truth. And the gyrus sends mood waves that make us happy when someone trusts us enough to let us in so, we then trust them back.
Sharing a fandom with another fan makes the gyrus send out stronger waves of happiness and automatically trust is given to that person because both share something dear to them.
Whether it’s Pretty Little Liars, Harry Potter, Once Upon a Time, or Percy Jackson, there will always be a fictional character to relate to.