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The Bachelorette 2023 and the Psychology Behind the Show

The Bachelorette

Season 20 of the hit reality show ‘The Bachelorette’ made its debut on Monday, June 26th. The show is aired on ABC, however, it is available the day after airing on HULU. Although ABC has yet to release an official schedule for this season, we anticipate that it will hold many of the past favorite events including hometown visits and a fantasy suite episode.

The Bachelorette features one woman, usually who was previously cast on the male version of the show, The Bachelor. The woman, throughout the course of the season, will date around 25 male contestants, eliminating them until she has landed on one man to claim as her fiance.

The show has become wildly popular with last year's season, bringing in around 3 million viewers according to The Hollywood Reporter

This season will star Charity Lawson, a contestant of season 27 of “The Bachelor,” which starred Zach Shallcross. She made it all the way to the final four before Zach decided not to offer her a rose to continue. Lawson was a fan favorite when she was featured on the show, which is likely why she was chosen as the Bachelorette.


The Psychology Behind It All

It is no question that this show is wildly popular and even after 19 seasons, people are still coming back, despite the show maintaining the same format year in and year out. This is because of the strategic formula the show employs to capture the attention of the audience. The producers do an amazing job at convincing both the cast and the audience that what they are feeling is real, genuine love in just a few short weeks. However, it is highly likely that this is simply a psychological fabrication.

Producers of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” employ what psychologists call psychological arousal through extreme scenarios to mimic the feeling of genuine love and connection. 

“The Bachelorette” isn’t the only reality show that uses this technique but it’s perhaps the most obvious and longstanding in its tradition of extreme sports and scenarios.

A 1974 study by Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron proved that conditions of high anxiety lead to increased sexual attraction through an experiment with two bridges that varied in their perceived danger. 

The study explains that people in high conditions of anxiety misattributed their “arousal,” and that physiological arousal was inadvertently focused on the person present rather than the situation.

It seems that the show employs this exact technique as it seems every season’s contestants are cliff jumping or skydiving. After these extreme, anxiety-inducing events, the contestants always seem to be more closely bonded, and for good reason. They are being psychologically manipulated by the circumstances. 


Not only does this convince the contestants that they are feeling real, genuine love, but also the audience, tricking them into thinking that the show isn’t staged and we are truly watching people fall in love.


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