Science Explains Tsundere Appeal

The Wooster

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Science Explains Tsundere Appeal


I-it's not like I studied this social phenomena because I like you or anything!

A tsundere character [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Tsundere ], for those of you who don't frequent certain types of message boards, is a character who hides their adoration of a particular character behind an impenetrable wall of bitchiness. Think Louise from Familiar of Zero, or if you require a less esoteric example, Helga from Hey Arnold! The trope has proven very popular amongst anime fans, which is odd given the community's well known appreciation for meek, submissive "moe" characters. Psychologist and anime fan, Yoshihito Nautou, thinks he can explain the attraction. With science.

Nautou's argument hinges on a study performed by Gerald Clore, of the University of Illinois. Clore performed an experiment in which he showed 338 people four videos of two people interacting. The videos were as follows:

[ul]
[li]Video 1: Person A is pleasant to person B.[/li]
[li]Video 2: Person A is initially pleasant to person B, but becomes more standoffish as the conversation continues.[/li]
[li]Video 3: Person A is initially unpleasant to Person B, but mellows as the conversation continues.[/li]
[li]Video 4: Person A acts like an enormous, raging turd for the entirety of the conversation.[/li][/ul]

When polled on which behavior was the most appealing, the majority of subjects chose video number three. The process which causes this is called the gain-loss, effect. Essentially, when someone is consistently unpleasant towards you, it establishes a behavioral baseline that colors your expectations. When that person becomes more pleasant, even if it's by a tiny amount, you interpret that as progress, which is psychologically stimulating.

Nautou points out that savvy socialites can use this knowledge to their advantage. Something aggravating, popped-collar, frat-gremlins have been doing for years, judging by the popular "treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen" adage.

It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romantic attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.

Source: MyNavi News [http://news.mynavi.jp/c_cobs/jijinews/trend/2012/03/0410pt1.html] Via Crunchyroll [http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2012/03/04/why-do-boys-drool-over-tsundere-girls]

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Chemical Alia

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Feb 1, 2011
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Grey Carter said:

It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romanitc attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.


I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.
 

PureIrony

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Aug 12, 2010
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First off? You wrote "romanitc" in the second-to-last line.

Secondly , my problem with tsunderes has always been that while it may be psychologically stimulating to see them come out of their shell, it makes it so once they inevitably do come all the way out in the series finale, its impossible to imagine them having any kind of real relationship with whatever protagonist they've latched onto. That and that they usually have to stall character development with them to prolong the status quo, which just gets annoying and makes the girl look like a *****.
 

hydroblitz

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Chemical Alia said:
Grey Carter said:

It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romanitc attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.


I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.


I wonder if science can explain why people consistently click on articles and threads concerning things they don't like/things that piss them off, just so they can comment and ***** about them.
 

Torrasque

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Aug 6, 2010
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Science: they do what they can, because they can.

I'm glad you mentioned Louise from Zero no Tsukaima because she is the perfect poster girl for Tsundere. Not only because of her obvious treatment of Saito, but because of all the "aside" drama you see where she shows affection towards him. Tsukiumi from Sekirei would probably be my #2 spot for favorite Tsundere character.
I've always found Tsundere appealing because it is so damned entertaining to see the rage/love go back and forth.
 

Torrasque

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hydroblitz said:
Chemical Alia said:
Grey Carter said:

It's worth noting that not every person who treats you like dirt is trying to hide a deep-rooted romanitc attraction that they just can't admit to. Some people just genuinely hate you.


I wonder if science can explain my genuine hate for anime and all the stupid cookie-cutter cliches that come with it.


I wonder if science can explain why people consistently click on articles and threads concerning things they don't like/things that piss them off, just so they can comment and ***** about them.
Don't worry, there will be plenty of ME3 boards to saturate with ignorant hate for the next few weeks :D
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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GAAAAAAH!!! A thread about TvTropes and now a news article with a link TO TvTropes, what are you trying to do to me Escapist?!

*ahem*

Well, that's not all that surprising seeing as there are people that like to figure out how other people tick, and I don't really mean that in a romantic way either. I mean, yeah, it might lead to romantic paths, but it's just human nature to question.

Physical abuse may or may not be in the equation.
 

-Dragmire-

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Mar 29, 2011
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Torrasque said:
Science: they do what they can, because they can.

I'm glad you mentioned Louise from Zero no Tsukaima because she is the perfect poster girl for Tsundere. Not only because of her obvious treatment of Saito, but because of all the "aside" drama you see where she shows affection towards him. Tsukiumi from Sekirei would probably be my #2 spot for favorite Tsundere character.
I've always found Tsundere appealing because it is so damned entertaining to see the rage/love go back and forth.
The voice actress of Louise tends to portray that role quite a bit though the only other example I can think of right now is Shana from Shakugan no Shana(tan).
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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I think the appeal is also the comedy value of the entire thing because as the viewer of a drama we see everything from an omniscient perspective, and what these characters are doing and thinking behind the scenes.

What's appealing and entertaining an a story doesn't nessicarly equate to a similar appreciation of it IRL from a limited perspective.

I tend to dismiss this study because you really can't apply stock drama persona and storytelling device to reality.
 

Zhukov

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Dec 29, 2009
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Well, as least I finally know what "tsundere" means.

...

So... all those women who seemingly loath me are actually just desperately trying to conceal their undeniable lust for my oh so very sexy self. Good to know! Anime is awesome!
 

XandNobody

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Aug 4, 2010
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Grey Carter said:
Hmm, makes sense I suppose. I mean, a few of my closer IRL friends are people who either hated me, or I hated. That and the mind liking progress makes sense too.

Still, the heck Grey, you linked to TVTropes in a news article? Don't you know that site is like crack!? There goes writing on my paper anymore tonight...
 

NeutralDrow

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The only problem I can see is that the study and the extrapolation are two different variants of the tsundere archetype.

The study seems to focus on the "classic" tsunere, the character who starts off obnoxious but mellows over time, rather than the "modern" archetype, which is simply a character with the often adoration-induced mood swings, which is what is usually meant in anime circles when talking about tsundere. The TV Tropes link kinda goes into both, though I think they consider the classic archetype to be a combination of both types, plus a heaping amount of "Defrosting Ice Queen".

Either way, the popular tsundere character is basically a Shana-like girl with mood swings, rather than necessarily one who becomes less belligerent over time, which would count as "progress."
 

Loop Stricken

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Jun 17, 2009
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I like them because I like arguing, and what could be better than arguing with someone ELSE who likes arguing with YOU because it's YOU and then there's all the BST or UST I dunno I haven't been on TVTropes for ages and you rage in each others faces and then you end up in bed and it's like didn't see that coming and I'm all like that's what she said and...

... that bloody LRR video has made me speak like an idiot. I apologise.
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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Aug 5, 2009
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Fiz_The_Toaster said:
GAAAAAAH!!! A thread about TvTropes and now a news article with a link TO TvTropes, what are you trying to do to me Escapist?!
Everyone here is tied into a conspiracy to steal away your free time for our master plan. [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage]

Hey look, a video about SCIENCE! [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage]

Zhukov said:
Well, as least I finally know what "tsundere" means.
This article explained it for me as well.

*shrugs*

People like it when their presence visibly cheers someone else up. This works for most social interactions, not only romantic ones.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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Redlin5 said:
Fiz_The_Toaster said:
GAAAAAAH!!! A thread about TvTropes and now a news article with a link TO TvTropes, what are you trying to do to me Escapist?!
Everyone here is tied into a conspiracy to steal away your free time for our master plan. [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage]

Hey look, a video about SCIENCE! [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage]
Ooooh science....

*clicks*

Hey! This isn't science! You tricked me! :mad:

Oh God it's everywhere!

*goes off to sob bitterly in corner*
 

Scrythe

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Jun 23, 2009
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So what you're telling me is that anime fans are attracted to bipolar women?

I could make a joke here, but this actually explains a lot.
 

Lovely Mixture

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Jul 12, 2011
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Admit it, you just wanted to use Senjougahara as headline picture (not a bad reason at all)

That said, it's always good to have the entertainment of fictional archtypes explained with reality.
 

antipunt

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Jan 3, 2009
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I know this is going to sound weird, but I actually did some research on this myself in the past.

It makes quite a lot of sense if you think about it. I think the study only skims the surface of the issue. It gets much more involved.

I won't bore everyone with the details of -everything- but there are a few essentials missing. First off, a tsundere exhibits characteristics of strength. The whole 'I'm a *****' personality exhibits self-confidence and authority, which a lot of more passive-male viewers can associate with 'desirability' (not saying -all- anime fans are passive males, but, continuing on). This tsundere (which in real life is usually an -impossibly out of your league for who you are- girl), will secretly admire you and 'hide' how she feels. This is entirely unrealistic..., but also some anime fans' wet dream.

I could make a very cynical statement about how these types of anime are using 'wish-fulfillment' to attract flies to the honey-trap, but in short, it really is a complicated/interesting subject matter.. Besides, Western television/movie romances usually aren't much better...
 

deidara

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I hate tsundere characters. And yes that most definitely includes taiga from Toradora. (People seem to LOVE her >.>). A tsundere is not an appropriate replacement for good character development. And the sad thing is I can't blame those results on the test group, people actually do like these characters. :(