Why am I doing this?

Wait, tone of voice is really hard to convey via the written form, I mean “Why am I doing this?” not “Why am I doing this?” OK, nope still not working..

OK, for real this time, why am I doing this, you may ask. I am a fully qualified Psychologist and I am writing about Joffrey from Game of Thrones, out here in the never land of the Internet. Why? Because it is interesting!

I remember when the first few seasons of Big Brother came out (and actually every season since) people asking me “As a psychologist, watching Big Brother must be an interesting study in human behaviour?” Actually, no, it is boring and contrived. For what claimed to be a reality television show, there was a great deal that was manufactured throughout a season, and that is one of the reasons that I haven’t watched it since the first week of the first season, many years ago.

But then what is interesting about the psychology behind television and film if reality TV isn’t interesting, you may ask. My answer is this – that the interesting thing about fictional characters is that they are the essence of social psychology and our perception of those around us. Fictional characters have the most concentrated of character traits to ensure that we understand what they stand for and who they are. They allow us to better understand human nature by questioning what could have led a human to manifest certain behaviour or traits.  Their personalities and actions are those that children grow up wanting to mimic. The writing and portrayal of a character doesn’t rely just of words on a page, but also an understanding of the character’s background, things that we never see on the screen, but make them the person that they are regardless.

This site aims to look at the psychology behind some of these characters -what may have led them to where they are right now, why they make the decisions that they do, because through fiction sometimes we are able to better understand ourselves and those around us, by understanding what the most extreme and dramatic version of a trait could be.

Another reason that I am doing this is because it is enjoyable and I think that psychology in general isn’t understood to a great extent (especially diagnosis of mental illness) and especially what actually happens behind the doors of a therapist’s office. The work that I do on a day to day basis is behind a closed door with one other person in front of me, and it is rewarding to see change in people, but I can’t talk about any of that once the session is over. This site gives me a chance to talk more about psychology in the public realm in relation to something else that people find interesting, it sits at the intersection, for me, of fun, expertise and engagement, I hope you feel the same.

 

 

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