Before there was Bieber Fever, there was Beatlemania, which fascinated the whole world, whether it was writing classic rock songs or who each of them dated at the time. Pop culture has repeated itself time and time again. All that has changed are names and faces.
Putting people on a pedestal is just plain human nature. Famous people are no exception. As media firms and Robinhood News firms know, sensationalizing anything a celebrity does works like a charm and gets the masses talking about the latest celebrity news today, it works like a charm.
What is the fascination with celebrity gossip?
It’s hardwired to gossip
We are hardwired to listen to gossip. However, this takes on a whole new level when it comes to celebrity gossip. We can trace our interest in celebrity gossip back to our ancestors who idolized martyrs and saints.
Humans and other primates have a long-standing desire to know about the activities of high-status individuals. This is an evolutionary technique that has helped us through the years.
Whether we believe it or not, celebrity gossip actually has two benefits. First, it helps us learn what high-status individuals do so that we can emulate them. The second benefit is more political and is related to our complex social circles.
We can better navigate the social scene when we know what goes on in the social circles of high-status individuals.
The brain is affected by gossip
A Chinese study found that celebrity scandals affect our brains in a negative way. For the study, 17 students volunteered and were forced to listen to gossip about themselves, their friends, and a famous celebrity they had no interest in.
While students were undergoing brain scans, gossip ranged from positive things such as a collaborative search for missing children to negative things such as someone who was found driving under the influence.
Individual students were asked how gossip made them feel about each subject. The students’ responses were quite obvious, as they preferred to hear positive gossip about themselves over negative gossip about their friends and celebrities. In spite of the students’ statements that they had no preference as to who they heard negative gossip about, brain scans revealed otherwise.
As compared to hearing negative gossip about friends, the volunteers showed moderately strong brain activity when they heard negative celebrity gossip.
When hearing celebrity gossip, the caudate nucleus, a brain region associated with pleasure and reward, showed increased activity, as did regions associated with self-control.
According to the study, students tried to hide how much they enjoyed hearing gossip about celebrity scandals.
Please give me a larger dose of bad news
Humans can’t resist any kind of misfortune, and war and terrorism still dominate headlines, while crime and poor weather aren’t far behind.
It is common for people to react to negative news much faster than they do to words such as fun or smile. People tend to react much faster to words such as bomb and cancer. Our tendency towards bad news actually has a positive effect as it makes us more aware of our actions and makes us want to change our behavior in order to avoid danger. To put it another way, we love to learn from celebrities’ mistakes.
Providing escapism from the daily rigors of our daily lives, celebrity gossip does more than just satisfy our survival instinct. Hearing about the misfortunes of another human being can distract us from our mundane lives, and it also makes us think that maybe our lives aren’t so bad after all.
Do not be too hard on yourself, the next time you turn your ears towards another celebrity scandal, as it is just natural to do so. Celebrity gossip serves more than just our innate instincts, it’s actually good for us psychologically as well.