Voluntary Suspension of Disbelief

Last updated: June 9, 2017 at 0:33 am

belief photoWhat if I told that a robot came back in time from 20 years in the future to kill a boy in the United States because that boy would lead a resistance against them in the future? And what if I added that another robot came back to protect the boy? A fight ensues between the two….

Would you believe that kind of crap? Of course not! That’s the plot of the hit movie, The Terminator. But when we go into the cinema, or even at home in our living rooms, remote in hand and glued to the television, it’s another story! We sit on the edge of our seats, we hold our breaths, gasp, laugh, cheer, clap our hands and even cry!

We seem to believe everything we are seeing on the screen in front of us, even though we know that “it is just a movie”. That phenomenon is called “voluntary suspension of disbelief”.

People engage voluntary suspension of disbelief during movies, dramas, stage plays etc, and when reading fiction books. But it also happens in other aspects of life. Sometimes, even though something is untrue or fictitious, we choose to believe it because it benefits our mind in some way. What other cases of “voluntary suspension of disbelief” can you think of?

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