There’s a lot of people who like the Harry Potter series and there are a lot of people who absolutely hate it. It’s just what happens when something is arguably the biggest pop-culture phenomenon to wander along in recent memory.
It’s perfectly fine to like or not like something, we all have different tastes in stuff after all. But if you ever needed any reason to suddenly get into all things Harry Potter and Hogwarts, here’s a really good one: you’re likely a good person if you like the books.
According to a study, fans who feel warmly towards Harry and his group of buddies are less likely to be intolerant towards minorities.
The three-part study involved surveying three different groups of readers – primary school children, high school students, and uni students – before and after they read parts of Harry Potter that were related to prejudice towards stigmatised groups (like when Draco called Hermione a mudblood).
The results showed that those who were surveyed developed greater empathy towards prejudiced groups by living vicariously through Harry’s “positive attitudes and behaviours” to minority communities.
When you think about it, this conclusion makes sense. Through Harry’s difficult upbringing, his underdog status and his relationships with society’s underdogs, like the Weasleys and “mudbloods”, or the ostracised, like Hagrid and Neville, children are taught about treating everyone with respect.
Furthermore, the series shines a negative light on racism and prejudice through the characterisation of Voldemort as an evil being who strives to ostracise anyone else who isn’t a pure-blooded witch or wizard. So while you were getting all hung up over horocruxes and whether Draco was in love with Harry, you were also getting a crash course on tolerance and equality.
No magic to be found here, just some important lessons about being a good person and some data-driven science.
That’s not to say that you’re a bad person if you don’t like Harry Potter. You can be a perfectly good human being and still hate The Boy Who Lived. But it’s nice to know that science says being a Potterhead means you’re likely to be a brave Gryffindor, loyal Hufflepuff or genius Ravenclaw than an evil Slytherin.