GLT Datebook: Psych Geeks Put 'Supernatural' On The Couch | WGLT

GLT Datebook: Psych Geeks Put 'Supernatural' On The Couch

Dec 23, 2017

The GLT Psych Geeks have contributed to a new book that delves into the psychological underpinnings of a popular TV show.

The TV show "Supernatural" has featured the adventures of a pair of monster-hunting brothers for 12 seasons. The new book, "Supernatural Psychology: Roads Less Traveled," examines the psychology behind many of the show's characters and themes.

Contributors to the book are Eric Wesselmann and Scott Jordan, two professors of psychology at Illinois State University and GLT's resident Psych Geeks.

Wesselmann's chapter deals with belief in magic and monsters and how superstition is a part of life.

Wesselman said research indicates that superstition can provide some benefit for us, though not always. The perception of control when we have no control is one aspect of superstitious behavior. When we feel a loss of control, doing something that we think influences our environment can alleviate our anxieties.

Jordan's chapter examines norms. He looks at the transient nature of norms, in spite of the fact that we don't experience them as such. On the show, norms are contingent and emerge out of the things that happen to us.

Jordan believes the show provides a contemporary wild folklore for American culture.

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