- Accio Tolerance! July 30
New title idea for Harry Potter: The Boy Who Taught Children How to be More Tolerant.
Research published this week in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that kids who read J.K. Rowling's wildly popular wizarding series are more likely to reduce their prejudices toward minority groups, reports Pacific Standard. The researchers from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy noted that the books provide plenty of examples of bigotry, on which children can then form an opinion. From Harry's defense of "mudbloods" like his friend Hermione, to Voldemort's obsession with "pure-blood" witches and wizards, kids were able to recognize the unfairness in these instances and subsequently attach them to real-world examples of prejudice.
One caveat in the research: The "improved attitudes towards immigrants," (researchers asked study participants about their feelings toward either immigrants, homosexuals, or refugees following the readings) were contingent on the kids identifying positively with Harry Potter.
Still, it's not entirely surprising that a child who more easily roots for Voldemort or Draco Malfoy might not demonstrate the same open-minded attitudes as his or her Potter-fan peers.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 10 things you need to know today: September 30, 2014
- The troubling persistence of eugenicist thought in modern America
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- Are hedge funds doomed?
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week