We knew all those hours spent holed up with the Harry Potter books when we should have been doing our homework or, you know, interacting with family, were for good reason. According to Debrief, a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology conducted three different courses and surveys that found that those who read the Harry Potter books tended to have more open, accepting world views.
These three studies focused on primary school students and their relationship with the Harry Potter books versus their perception of marginalized or stigmatized groups. Turns out, those who read the books viewed groups like refugees, immigrants, and the LGBT community with much more empathy and understanding than those who did not.
This isn’t to say that those who didn’t read the books aren’t accepting, but that overall, reading about Harry’s adventures improved students’ attitudes towards these groups who too often get cast aside or denied basic rights. That makes sense, since Harry Potter was all about equality, and how blood played no part in the worth of a person, as well as smaller battles for equality, like Hermione’s work with S.P.E.W.
With inspiring quotes like “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” and “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be” the books are perhaps the most perfect lesson in what it is to be human, and what it is to be different—and how those two things go hand in hand, and deserve to be celebrated.
(Image via Warner Bros)