No one would ever accuse The Bachelor of being high brow television. In fact, there’s a good possibility that, even if you actually hate the reality dating drama, you still get sucked in week after week, season after season. It turns out there might be a scientific reason you actively choose to keep watching something, even if it’s not exactly your idea of Emmy-worthy television.
“Research on television viewing reveals that our addiction to certain shows may be due to the reliance on the arousal or overstimulation that occurs in the brain,” Dr. Kristen Willeumier, neuroscientist and author of Biohack Your Brain, told Nicki Swift. “The instant gratification from the pleasurable dopamine rush produced by The Bachelor’s ongoing drama keeps many tuning in week after week.”
Think of it like Sour Patch Kids. They do not fill you up, they do not contribute any nourishment to your body, and honestly, after a while, they are kind of painful and make you feel a little nauseous. And yet, you keep eating them because they are super sweet right now.
Read on to learn more about The Bachelor fever we are all experiencing right now!
A neuroscientist explains the appeal of The Bachelor
Dr. Kristen Willeumier, neuroscientist and author of Biohack Your Brain, explains that there are actually plenty of reasons you can’t stop gorging on junk food TV — The Bachelor, in particular.
“[People] may watch it as a form of entertainment or escape from their daily lives or for the social connection to the contestants,” Willeumier told Nicki Swift. Additionally, we can’t forget the impact that COVID-19 has had on everyone’s lives, and this might play a role in your TV viewing habits, as well.
“Given that the pandemic has us spending more time at home separated from our friends and loved ones,” Willeumier added, “television has become a welcome form of connection for those who are feeling lonely and isolated.”
If nothing else, know that you are not alone in your devotion to Bachelor Matt James and all of his TV girlfriends. “Whatever your rationale for watching, you are in the company of 6 million other viewers who watch weekly, and you can engage with the Bachelor Nation community!”
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