Entertainment is the most sought after and enjoyed by all of us. But the question is; what are the psychological causes? Why do human societies, in all cultures and periods enjoy and seek entertainment? Why is entertainment so important? Why people from all walks of life want to be entertained and find experiences that are so satisfying.
First of all, let’s define entertainment. Entertainment can be defined as any activity, which allows people to entertain themselves in their spare time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching movies, T.V shows, live theater, etc., etc. Active forms of entertainment such as sports are more often regarded as recreation. Actions such as reading a book or playing a musical instrument are considered as hobbies. Various forms of entertainment are theater, cinema, dance performances, social dance, parties, sports and games. Entertainment such as puppet shows, clowns, mimes, and cartoons tends to appeal to children.
Human nature is an essential nature. We need an escape from real life. We need to feed our fantasies. Entertainment brings us to a world that changes according to our wishes and fulfills our desires for fantasy and escape from the boredom of real life. Entertainment transfers us to a fantasy world, and we remain immersed as part of this alternative realism. This is especially true for media entertainment such as music, theater and film.
Entertainment conditions our values, behaviors and thoughts. This is especially true in the case of entertainment media such as T.V and films, which provide a strong touching experience. Our emotions greatly influence our actions in ways that remain outside our control and awareness. Therefore, it is very likely to be influenced by unconscious entertainment. Humans are rational beings but emotions compel us to do things that don’t make sense. Entertainment pleasure diverts us from the initial phase of interest to emotional connections and finally to the stage of addiction.
Entertainment triggers complicated psychological processes in the human brain. For example, a man can fall in love with a girl, which he cannot reach in real life, so he can fall in love with an actress in a film that might resemble the girl of his dreams.
Let’s take one more example. At present, there is an increase in alarm over the effects of violence on T.V. So, what are the negative effects? Does violence on TV lead to increased violence in the real world? Studies show that this is true. There is a lot of evidence that the violence displayed on TV increases the tendency for violence in children. These programs will not suddenly turn peaceful children into rude children, but this can make children who tend to be more vulnerable tend to play out of their natural inclinations.
In general, entertainment elevates values that we may not consciously approve, but which, however, are very important to us and require mental stimulation. This does not mean that entertainment is bad for humans. We can certainly benefit from a deep and clear understanding of how entertainment in real life affects our experiences and emotions.