Why do cases always attract us to become online detectives?

Crime, especially murders, is always a topic of public interest. Today, you can come across the topic of crime anywhere, on newspapers, on television, on social networks…

And while that appeal has persisted for decades, the advent of the internet has added a new wave of these topics. Now, instead of just reading a fictional novel, fans can directly participate in solving real-life cases.

Communities of ” cyber detectives ” have begun to form, typically websleuths, r/RBI, r/UnsolvedMysteries. The Internet has become an extremely fast-paced environment for sharing information, clues, and evidence. It makes it possible for anyone behind the keyboard to deduce what happened.

The appeal of real-life cases is undeniable. But what exactly attracts us to become such amateur detectives?

Why do cases always attract us to become online detectives?

Dr. Marissa Harrison, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, said that humans are interested in the subject of crime, because we have evolved to be wary of what could harm us.

It’s like a survival instinct. Through learning about murders – answering questions like who is the killer, how the case happened, who the victim is… – people will also learn how to prevent them. prevent yourself from becoming a victim in the future.

A survival instinct drives us to learn about cases, agrees Amanda Vicary, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois.

This dynamic is especially true for women. A 2010 study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that women are more likely to seek out real-life crime stories than men.

They read stories as a preparation, looking for ways to avoid them, tips to help them cope with similar dangerous situations. That’s basically consistent with research in criminology, which explains that we all tend to focus on threats to ourselves.

Why do cases always attract us to become online detectives?

It is not by chance that detective novels have become a popular literary genre. Everything comes from our genes. Justine Mastin, a psychotherapist in Minneapolis, said: “As humans, we are always drawn to stories.

“We’ve interacted with all kinds of stories since the dawn of our species. Oral legends, cave drawings tell of both victories and defeats as a way of communicating the lessons of the previous generation for the next generation ,” she said.

And the cases are always the most typical stories. ” Humans are especially drawn to stories that allow us to wonder what happened, and how did it happen? ? “, Mastin said.

We also believe that we can do better if we face similar circumstances.

Why do cases always attract us to become online detectives?

In every unsolved case there are brain-stimulating puzzles. After following a case with episodes on television or in newspapers, we tend to piece them together, make our own deductions, and play armchair detective games.

We want to explain a case the same way we want to solve a puzzle or crossword puzzle, says Michele Ruyters, associate dean of the Department of Justice and Legal Studies at RMIT University.

My heart thinks everyone wants to be a detective ,” she said. “Human innate curiosity makes us want to analyze every problem and find a solution to it” .

Why do cases always attract us to become online detectives?

Crime stories allow us to experience scary emotions without actually embodying them, and that creates a sense of security, Mastin says. ” Even though I’m experiencing this, I can stop at any time.”

It’s the same kind of enjoyment you experience when you watch horror movies or listen to ghost stories. Adrenaline acts on the sympathetic nervous system, you still experience the feeling of fear because of what happened in the case, but are satisfied because your fear is under control.

It is also a guilty pleasure to realize that you yourself are not the victim in the story.

Psychologists call it schadenfreude – taking pleasure in the misfortune of others . When reading about crimes, people tend to be relieved that they themselves are not victims of it.

Why do cases always attract us to become online detectives?

In addition to emotional motivations, reason is also part of what drives us to be interested in cases.

Keith Findley, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Wisconsin School of Law, said open cases, which have not been clarified — or have concluded but are questionable — are the main factors that contribute to attracting interest. public attention.

The public is starting to realize more clearly, that sometimes innocent people are wrongfully convicted ,” Findley said. If an innocent person is convicted for a crime they didn’t commit, followers will feel they need to participate.

All people share the same ideal that justice must be done.