Get this Muggles and Twilighters- according to a new study, we connect so much with our book friends Harry Potter and Edward Cullen when we read about them that we become wizards and vampires. Psychologically speaking of course.
A study at the University of Buffalo shows that we become submerged enough in the fantasy to satisfy our need for human connection. And we get the same sense of satisfaction and happiness that we’d get if we were actually part of those worlds, said authors Shira Gabriel, an associate professor of psychology, and Ariana Young, a graduate student.
“Social connection is a strong, human need,” Gabriel said in a statement, “and anytime we feel connected to others, we feel good in general, and feel good about our lives. Our study results demonstrate that the assimilation of a narrative allows us to feel close to others in the comfort of our own space and at our own convenience.”
The researchers tested the theory on 140 students who read for 30 minutes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Twilight. Then they answered questions that tested their conscious and unconscious responses.
Harry Potter readers identified with wizards and their world and Twilight readers identified with vampires and their world. They also adopted attitudes and behaviors – though, they noted, no one tried to suck blood or fly on a broom!
The study, called Becoming a Vampire Without Being Bitten: The Narrative Collective Assimilation Hypothesis, was published in the current issue journal Psychological Science.
So, tell us your thoughts on your preferred world- wizard or vampire- and why you think you identify with it?