Being a Harry Potter fan can make you a nicer person, a study has found.
The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice was published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology in 2014.
It investigated “whether the novels of Harry Potter can be used as a tool for improving attitudes toward stigmatised groups”, as all seven books “address important social, cultural, and psychological issues”.
Researchers found “reading Harry Potter may effectively help in reducing prejudice” and concluded that “reading the novels of Harry Potter improves attitudes toward stigmatised groups among those more identified with the main positive character”.
Soz Voldemort fans. This doesn’t include you.
The verdict should come as no surprise to Harry Potter fans, as the series consistently promotes themes of tolerance.
Indeed, the study suggests the books give readers “an enhanced ability to understand disadvantaged groups”, as they “may have learnt to take the perspective of discriminated group members” while reading them.
Researchers also found that reading the books actually “improved attitudes toward homosexuals among a sample of high school students” – which is pretty cool.
What’s more, the study also has an explanation for those post-Goblet of Fire years where dark Harry first comes to light – which means we can finally excuse the boy wizard for his seriously high sass level in books five and six.
“Very positive characters like Harry Potter hide obscure traits and tendencies,” it reads, “with the underlying but key message being that positive and negative aspects of the self coexist in people”.
Right. Off to read the entire series again.
Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Digital Spy Facebook page and ‘Follow’ on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you’re all set.