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The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (Psychology of Popular Culture) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
rather forced, in that there really is not a lot of psychological insight that can be gained from the comic
super hero genre. Yes people want to be super, and heroes, and have super powers, and yes comics are written
and made by such people as to have these desires or impulses. But is this original, and does this book really
answer burning questions, and presented in a good way? An average read,, but nothing new here.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Several authors dedicate their essays to studing how individual superheroes fit or deviate from standard psychological models and practices. For example, Christopher Patrick and Sarah Patrick contend that the Incredible Hulk suffers from a textbook example of reactive aggression triggered by the extreme physical and emotional maltreatment he suffered as a youth. Robert Biswas-Diener finds that the Spider-Man alter ego allows Peter Parker to gain encouragement through performance and an increase in personal happiness in general accordance with positive psychology theory. On the other hand, Bradley Daniels informs us that the insanity plea seems to be used far more frequently in the comics than in real life; and thankfully, no realworld mental institution exists that is as easily escapable as Gotham's notorious Arkham Asylum.
The moral behavior of superheroes is discussed in several pieces. Peter DeScioli and Robert Kurzban compare and contrast the absolutist ethics of Superman with the more complex utilitarian ethics of Batman, who nonetheless retains a consistent sense of purpose to ensure socially just outcomes. Andrew Getzfeld suggests that The Punisher's moral outrage over the murder of his family compels him to engage in an extreme form of vigilantism that, unfortunately, would probably remain intractable even if he was afforded the benefit of intensive clinical treatment.
Other articles shed light on the psychology of groups, institutions and society. Mikhail Lyubansky shows how the X-Men embody the ideology of tolerance and diversity within the walls of the Xavier Institute but are unfairly scapegoated for their enviable talents by human society. Chuck Tate studies the history of Wonder Woman to discuss how changing societal attitudes towards women has made the struggle to depict a strong, independent woman to remain a highly problematic task.
These are just a few of the many remarkable essays contained in this fun, intelligent book. It is highly recommended to everyone.
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