This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Psychological Aspects Of Urban Legends Essay

1603 words - 6 pages

Many people have heard the tale, occasionally alluded to in popular culture but most often imparted as a thing that "really happened to a friend of a friend," of the dotty grandmother who tried to dry off her damp poodle by placing it in the microwave oven. The dog exploded, sad to say, and Grandma has never been quite the same since. The story is not true; it is an urban legend, circulating by word of mouth since the 1970s (Brunvand 108). Urban legends are popular stories alleged to be true and transmitted from person to person by oral or written communication. Legends tend to arise spontaneously and are rarely traceable to a single point of origin. And again, they spread primarily from individual to individual through interpersonal communication, and only in atypical cases through mass media or other institutional means. Every culture has its folktales, including modern America. However, instead of involving gods and goddesses or princes and princesses, modern society's legends involve "some guy my sister's best friend knows" or "someone who woke up in a motel room." They happened, supposedly, to real people, usually recently, in a particular place. They touch the most sensitive nerves of human psyches with ironic twists, gross-out shocks, and moral lessons learned the hard way. However, the most remarkable thing about these stories is that so many people believe them and pass them on. Why does an audience take the storyteller's word at face value, instead of recognizing it as an urban legend? The most significant reasons as to why this happens are how the story is told to an individual, the relationship between the teller and the listener, and in the case of horror legends, the fear invoked through the moral of the story.The particular elements of an urban legend play an enormous role in how it is interpreted by the public. They are usually characterized by a combination of humor, horror or a warning. The two types of urban legends are cautionary, usually having a moral to the story or a warning to stay "safe", and non-cautionary, which have no cautionary or moral element at all (Harris 1). The details or 'beef' of these legends are the primary factors that make them so believable. A good example is the "Alligators in the Sewer" legend. The setting of this legend is usually a large city, in which a reptile-loving fanatic decides to buy a baby alligator to keep in their cramped apartment as a pet. They soon realize they cannot keep the alligator because it is growing rapidly and in turn, resort to flushing it down the commode. The baby alligator gets sucked through the piping of the building and eventually ends up in the sewer where it survives on eating rats and other garbage (Brown 127). A person is more likely to believe the tale if the storyteller gives them juicy details of a child they know getting chased by one while playing in the disgusting muck, rather than saying they heard it in a coffee shop down the street. In the case of a...

Find Another Essay On Psychological Aspects of Urban Legends

To Believe or Not to Believe, Modern Urban Legends

1474 words - 6 pages no definite reason why people believe and pass on urban legends. Many theories have been proposed by a decent amount of folklorists, but a conclusion has yet to be discovered. The aspects of trust and fear are closely tied into the human mind's perception of a legend, and the details provide a vivid image for the mind to weave. Like numerous other cultures in history, the modern human is searching for answers to questions. However, these

Urban Legends Essay

695 words - 3 pages stories are urban legends, any modern, fictional story, told as truth, that reaches a wide audience by being passed from person to person(Brian 1). What makes these stories popular, why are they told and retold, and what does this show about contemporary culture?First of all, what makes urban legends so popular? One reason is because these stories have a developed storyline. The story always happens somewhere to someone. This makes the story more

Literary Analtsis: Urban Leyends

2373 words - 9 pages Literary Analysis “Did you hear about that one girl who died from spiders that made a nest of her hair?” “Yeah, who could be so stupid as to not wash their hair?” As casual as this conversation may seem, it shows the power of urban legends at work. Although “The Beehive Hairdo (the urban legend which our pair of friends here are discussing) is no longer prevalent in culture and society, it still demonstrates an urban legend’s ability to modify

foundation of mythology

709 words - 3 pages Running head: FOUNDATIONS OF MYTHOLOGY PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1 FOUNDATIONS OF MYTHOLOGY PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 5 Foundations of MythologyHUM105Foundations of MythologyIn the popular context, the word "myth" is generally used to describe urban legends. Urban legends are false stories, told as if they were true, and passed on to others. Myth, in this context, is defined as stories that undergo a series of events sharing characteristics of legends

Urban Legends on the Web

1197 words - 5 pages Urban Legends on the Web Urban legends are fascinating to almost everyone, and it would follow that there would be many websites available for the discussion of them. A simple search turns up thousands of "hits" on the subject, so how do we know which ones to believe? A good research site will have detailed information explaining the confirmation or rejection of the legend. References must be cited, especially when a legend is being "proven

What are Urban Legends?

1374 words - 6 pages APS ISU – Urban Legends What are Urban Legends? How would one define an urban legend and what is it that differentiates it from other similar terms such as legends, myths and folklore? These terms tend to be group together, and for good reason considering they are all interrelated of each other as a means of storytelling. A legend is established upon historic events but have a fictional component to them and possess great significance to the

Essay On Urban Legends As A Narrative Genre

534 words - 2 pages Narrative genre of urban legends is a kind of oral folktale with the presence of a teller, telling the story. The teller separates certain characteristic of the story being told, recounting of events in chronological time. The teller now a days don't always have to be present in modern times, we see this through e-mail, someone spreading an urban legend, telling a story, recounting of events, and separating characteristic. Urban legends are

Ghost Story of the Green Rat

1491 words - 6 pages tales, and leads to their spreading. Another part of the story that is a common motif in urban legends and folklore is what happens to the boy’s hair at the end of the tale (F1041.7 Hair turns gray from terror). The story itself is a “Legend Trip” as described by Ellis in his article “Adolescent Legend Tripping” in that the teenagers go to the house to test the veracity of the legend, only in this interesting case the legend-trip itself becomes

Historical background of nursury rhymes

957 words - 4 pages . Identify the type of contamination in two urban legends: Modern myths and legends exist in our present day society in the form of urban legends. Urban legends are continuously being passed on by word of mouth and more easily by email via the Internet. Urban legends are warnings of contamination. They represent fears all humans have of things that are threatening. Two urban legends that exist are stories of "The Hook" and "Red Eyes". Their

Interpretation of Urban Design

1208 words - 5 pages anthropological, sociological and psychological tactics. Aelbrecht study of urban design is through observations of everyday urban spaces and reaching a conclusion that seeks to address the lack of public realms to facilitate public interaction. These perception of space will be reviewed in order understand the link between place making from urban design and its relation to bringing the community together. Public Life Good urban design can lead

The Story of Black Aggie

1669 words - 7 pages The Story of Black Aggie Urban legends are the supernatural folklore of our modern society. From one generation to the next, they orally travel throughout the world, constantly changing from one region to the next. Although cultural variations exist, the core of all these urban legends remains the same, to unveil the universally known individual and societal fears. “The Graveyard Wager” is a timeless urban legend told again and again, and

Similar Essays

Urban Legends: Fact Vs. "Fact" / Discusses Various Aspects Of Urban Legends And The "Facts" Surrounding Them

1620 words - 6 pages Urban Legends: Fact vs. "Fact"For hundreds of years, various folklore and local legends have been prime subjects of human intrigue and fascination. Over the past century, such folklore has been dubbed "Urban Legend." Also referred to as contemporary or modern legends, urban legends have become sources of education, entertainment, and explanations. What often starts as a mere rumor can potentially develop into an urban legend; a tale which

The Impact Of Urban Legends Throughout History And Around The World

1749 words - 7 pages The Impact of Urban Legends Throughout History and Around the World Urban legends have always intrigued me. I am unsure if it is the scare factor that intrigues me, the way in which some of them are told, or some of the lessons that are supposed to be taken from them but one thing I know for sure is that I do not stand alone in this belief. In fact urban legends are told all over the world, even in countries that many have never heard of

Pain Management. The Influence Of Psychological Aspects In A Sport Injury Rehabilitation. By Rafael Cortez

1954 words - 8 pages psychological factors in rehabilitation? Do any psychological techniques exist to reduce pain and accelerate recovery? How do professional players are able to come back from severe injuries, how do they manage the pain?We will try to answer these questions, exposing how the different psychological aspects of rehabilitation help to recover athletes from a sport injury. Furthermore, we will provide with several theories and techniques that help cope

The Psychological Aspects Of Bullying Essay

1427 words - 6 pages , spreading rumors is indirect while using internet to humiliate people can be known as cyber bullying. Direct bullying is hurting just physically, but indirect and cyber is psychological (or mental) bullying ("Bullying info and facts" n.d.). Indirect bullying will have devastating affects on the victim because they considered the people talking about them as friends. Still thinking of them as acquaintances, the prey will accept the remarks and