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By Robert Batsell, Ph.D.


from The Psychology of Survivor

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This is one essay from the anthology The Psychology of Survivor

Six years into the 21st century, many trends have already come and gone, but America can’t seem to turn off or get enough of reality television. Many fans and critics alike consider “Survivor” to be the first (and the best) reality program out there. From its debut in the summer of 2000 to the eagerly anticipated and controversial 13th season coming in the fall of 2006, millions tune in each week, and the appeal doesn’t seem to be fading. Psychology of Survivor is out to answer a few questions. From situational ethics to tribal loyalties, from stress and body image to loneliness and family structures, Psychology of Survivor is a broad look at cutting-edge psychological issues view through the lens of “Survivor.” Even more, Psychology of Survivor provides psychological insights into the dynamics of “Survivor,” explaining why macho alpha males rarely win, keys to getting your fellow survivors to like you, and the dreaded Rob Cestaries Factor. The third book in BenBella Book’s Psychology of Popular Culture series is accessible yet interesting, smart yet entertaining, Psychology of Survivor will appeal to millions of “Survivor” fans and psychology enthusiasts alike.

About the Author

Richard J. Gerrig, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Stony Brook University. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1980 and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1984. Gerrig’s primary research focuses on readers’ experiences of narrative worlds. He considers both the basic cognitive psychological processes that enable readers to understand discourse and the broader consequences of readers’ experiences of being transported to narrative worlds. With Philip Zimbardo, he is the author of the introductory textbook Psychology and Life.

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About the Author

Robert  Batsell, Ph.D.

Robert Batsell, Ph.D., is originally from Brownsville, Texas. He earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology from Southern Methodist University, and his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Texas Christian University. Currently he is the Kurt D. Kaufman Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology at Kalamazoo College. He is a biopsychologist whose teaching interests include general psychology, experimental psychology, psychology of learning and biopsychology. His research focuses on the learning mechanisms that underlie food aversions in humans and nonhumans. He spends way too much of his time watching “Survivor” along with his 9-year-old son Evan. He is indebted to Karen Doyle, Dan Jacobson, Suzanne MacDonald and Andy Mozina for their feedback on his manuscript.

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