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Psychologists call Arias trial escape from reality

PHOENIX — Valley psychologists say people in the United States and other countries are using the Jodi Arias trial as a diversion from their daily lives.

People all over the country are fixated on the trial.

“It could feed into our arousal level,” said psychologist Sanford Silverman. “We’re getting kind of like an adrenaline rush from the excitement of all of it.”

Psychologist Neil Stafford agrees that for many, the trial is an escape from their personal reality.

“A lot of our lives are pretty routine, and here’s something sensational that’s happened,” said Stafford. “Definitely when it’s about violent crime or sex, it’s exciting to watch, initially.”

Some people have come from other areas of the country and even as far away as Australia to try to get a seat in the courtroom to see the trial in person. Millions of others have been watching on television.

Silverman thinks we may see more of that behavior in future trials.

“We have more access to information,” Silverman said. “We do overreact to things. With all of the different channels of information, we get the cognitive overload. It just stirs us up.”