Being a Potterhead might mean you’re a better person

Harry Potter book

According to a recent paper published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, kids who read the books and identify with Harry are more open-minded and less likely to be prejudiced against minority groups.

There are a lot of different groups in the books, and the over-arching theme is to be kind to others, regardless of how different they are. There's also an emphasis on prejudice being associated with evil.

The main antagonist, Voldemort, is obsessed with wizards only being "pure-bloods," meaning they come from wizarding families. "Mudbloods" are those who are born to magicless — or "muggle" — parents.

Harry Potter and friends

In the study, being exposed to these group dynamics appeared to play a big role in how children grew up to see others who were different from themselves.

Throughout the Harry Potter series, the characters all experience the difficulties of being different: Harry and his scar, Ron and his hand-me-down clothes, and Hermione with her muggle parents. However, there is never question over whether they are friends with each other, or why their differences should matter.

In the words of Albus Dumbledore: "Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open."

Lavender Cheung

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