Psychologists Find That Being A 'Harry Potter' Fan Makes You A Better Person
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The greatest magic that Harry Potter has ever wielded isn't through his wand but his legacy.
Yes that's right, apparently it's not only Horcruxes that 'The Boy Who Lived' is destroying - he's also Avada Kedavra-ing prejudice according to muggle science.
The study, published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, found that young people who feel that they have an emotional attachment with Harry Potter were less likely to be prejudiced against minority groups.
So, reading the series about the Golden Trio facing various hardships written by a woman who gave so much money away she's no longer a billionaire makes you a better person. I mean, clearly.
Also, JK Rowling is pure brilliant on Twitter.
Well, the fumes from the DVDs might be toxic and I've still got your money, so by all means borrow my lighter. pic.twitter.com/kVoi8VGEoK
- J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 31, 2017
There is so much in Harry Potter that is about tolerance, courage and doing the right thing. But you know, not in a preachy, religious way like in CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, but in a cool way.
JK Rowling borrowed a lot of her work from history, and even some of the words she used. But she is subtle.
The Death Eaters, the baddies of the group, are heavily influenced by the Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan with their anonymous cloaks, and their obsession with blood purity.
Apart from being terrifying, the Death Eaters are cowardly hypocrites - and much like the Nazis, end up being defeated. By using allegory to show the traits of dangerous radicalisation, readers can see the rise of fascism and a dictator.
And the books also show the importance of kindness, and how even the smallest bit of courage makes a huge difference.
And Hermione Granger, played by UN Ambassador Emma Watson, is a muggleborn as her parents aren't magical. From the very start of the books, she is praised as the brightest witch of her age - circumventing the prejudice against 'mudbloods' as they're called. Even though it's made up, 'mudblood' is a fictional racial slur just like the ones that are used for real.
JK Rowling's work also includes characters that show you that you can't judge a book by its cover (unless its a Harry Potter cover and that cover is awesome). Hagrid is a big scary hairy man who wrongfully lost his right to a wand and is a half-giant - but he's a loyal father figure and friend to Harry. And a giant softie.
And other characters like Remus Lupin, who is an outcast from society because he's a werewolf, show the bigotry and suspicion that people are treated with because they're different and thought to be dangerous. Even though Remus turns into a bloodthirsty monster once a month, he's a loyal friend, and fairly mild-mannered if a bit sarky.
And then there's Dumbledore, who comes out with some great quotes about life.
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities," he tells our young hero. Words to live by. No wonder reading that at an impressionable age makes you a better person.
Did Dumbledore also bring back beards? Who can say? (yes).
So there you have it - if you want to be a better person, just crack open your favourite Harry Potter book and by the end of it you'll defo be a happier person - and a nicer one.