Fan phenomenon, empathy and mirror neurons

Fan phenomenon, empathy and mirror neurons

Fan phenomenon

In this article we are going to talk about fan phenomenon. A phenomenon that, although it seems relatively new, has been accompanying us since the beginning of time. And it is something that we have tied to the depths of our unconscious mind

What is the fan phenomenon exactly?

Defining the fan phenomenon is a bit difficult, because there are no concrete and “scientific” definitions that allow us to say “this belongs to the fan phenomenon, and this does not”. But, in general, we all know what we are talking about.

Those people who can spend a night outdoors to get a concert ticket for that singer they like so much. Or those others who chase the footballer on duty with a sickly fixation.

These people are forofas to a pathological point. And we talk about fan phenomenon when there are many of these people. But, both the first and the second have a reason for being and can be explained scientifically.

Finally (before proceeding to the explanation), I want to make a little mention of the fact that this is not new. In the past there was already a fan phenomenon ... Or what would you call following a military leader to certain death?

It is just an example. The fan phenomenon has changed presentation, but the mechanism is the same. And, now, we can talk about the mechanism.

Empathy and mirror neurons

To explain the fan phenomenon, you have to talk, first of all, of the phenomenon that occurs in the specific person, in the forofo. And then we will have to talk about how that expands and affects more and more people.

We will talk empathy and mirror neurons. Apparently it has been possible to verify that forofas people have a high level of empathy, which It leads them to put themselves in the shoes of their idol to experience what he experiences.

When this happens, mirror neurons do the rest of the work. The forofo identifies so much with the idol (from, precisely, that empathy) that what generates pleasure in the idol, generates pleasure in the forofo.

Thus, it should not surprise us that when a player scores a goal, thousands of people have a goal. dopamine high (the molecule that generates the sensations of pleasure).

Simply, what the idol experiences is replicating.

Keep in mind that this can lead to some negative aspects, and not just positive ones. If the fan feels that he may lose the possibility of having that extra dopamine (with the cancellation of a concert, for example), he may respond aggressively or depression.

Now, we can talk about the other part of the fan phenomenon, how it happens at the same time in thousands or millions of people. And, naturally, this is explained by the simple herd effect (we all like it feel integrated into a group, truth?).

East herd effect, or gregarious behavior, has a specific name in behavioral psychology: bandwagon effect. It is the effect by which people ascribe to a group, without feeling, in principle, what the originals felt.

In addition, it is proven that the probability that individuals adopt this or that fashion, increases proportionally to the number of people who have already done so (and, I add, to the "quality" of the people who have done it).

Thus, for example, there may be a relatively unknown music group, which only a thousand people follow. Little by little some more people are added, seduced by that original group of a thousand people.

As the number of people interested in that group grows, new people are more likely to be added, and as new people are added, still that group is more likely to have the strength to attract new people.

If, along the way, there is an important person who shows his interest (a youtuber, for example), many more people will join. And this is how a fashion is generated, which shortly after, will generate the fan phenomenon by what is mentioned at the beginning of this section.

Only one question remains: If those who are added later do not have empathy and powerful significance with the idol, as if they have the first followers, Why do the latter also behave like the first?

And the answer is simple: By the same process mentioned at the beginning, but instead of applied to the idol, applied to close people. You are an idol fan, and I care about you and empathize with you so much, that my dopamine download comes from your download of dopamine.

As you can see, the fan phenomenon It has nothing new, although it has been able to strengthen in recent times and is more visible (because we are more people and with more means to show it). We can all suffer the fan phenomenon and, in fact, we tend to show it more than we think.