The Psychology of Entertainment

Entertainment can take many forms. It could be private/personal or general/public. Playing with friends is one form of entertainment. Watching a movie with others is another form of entertainment. There are differences between private and public entertainment. Personal entertainment is based on our individual experiences and our worldviews.

Interactive entertainment is less common in general entertainment. This seems to be a contradiction since all forms of entertainment, private and public, are more interactive. While this situation is changing, television programs are increasing audience participation. However, interaction patterns between entertainers in public entertainment scenarios remain within strict limits.

Entertainment transports us to another world, and fulfills our desire for fantasy and escape from the real world. This holds true especially for entertainment that is more accessible or provided by media, such as films, theatres, music, and other forms of creative arts. The theatre and films transport us into a fantasy world and keep our attention, so that we feel like we are part of it. Entertainment can also come in the form gossip, magazine articles and celebrity culture. The psychology of entertainment may also explain our obsession with celebrity culture.

Celebrities seem to offer a whole new world of fantasies. For some, knowing the movements of celebrities can bring great satisfaction. It could almost feel like you are part of a fantasy world. Fantasies can be used to overcome frustrations and provide a way to escape the realities of everyday life. Entertainment helps us move past real emotions and stressful moments. We can also participate in fantasies that are soothing. As spectators, we are able to still be involved in the fantasies in a tacit or passive way.

Participation in any film, book or creative art is like sitting on a reclining seat that allows you to relax and soothe your muscles. Entertainment is a form of entertainment that we almost participate in passively. Although we might be alert and awake while watching a movie, entertainment gives the illusion of non-participation because we are not allowed to become voluntarily involved in the scene. Entertainment could include any form of enjoyment, but entertainment can also be painful. For example, when we feel emotionally attached to characters while watching a movie, we might cry.

Entertainment can trigger emotions such as sadness, joy, anxiety, fear, and even anger. However, viewers are not required to do any physical activity. Entertainment’s main draw is its active-passive nature. It allows us to be active (in terms emotion) as well as passive (in terms physical or voluntary mental involvement). Like films, entertainment is subtly influential. However, this influence seems to be more effective than aggressive ones. While we see entertainment as a form of pleasure, work is seen as a duty. While work requires participation and decision-making, it also requires emotional involvement.

But why are entertainment and work seen as heavy, while relaxation is seen as entertainment? Unpredictability is the answer. Entertainment is not predictable. In many cases, we don’t know what to expect from a film or a music video. Unpredictability is what draws us in because we can’t predict the emotional reactions that will be evoked by this mental adventure. Entertainment is often a form mental and emotional adventure. If we know the story of a movie, it is that familiarity with the subject matter that drives us to see what we know. If a videogame gives us a pleasure or evokes aggression or competitiveness in us, then we return to the same emotions that made it exciting or pleasurable. These forms of entertainment can easily become addictive if they are too long.