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In J. K. Rowling's best-selling books, the boy wizard Harry Potter continually fights
pure evil – you know, that creepy snake tongue man with no nose.
But how would Harry go fighting the evil forces of the world we live in?
By evil forces I mean bigotry, prejudice and other negative attitudes that are the roots of our social conflicts.
Could he diminish these bitter human traits and make us better?
It turns out he already has.
[Brain Craft intro]
A good amount of research shows that reading fiction can increase empathy , improve our
understanding of other people and reduce prejudice. And over the 20 years since Harry Potter was first published,
researchers have been finding this story is particularly good at promoting these prosocial values.
20 years...doesn't time fly by?!
So, what's so special about Harry Potter?
Well, Harry's world wasn't just fun magic and wizardry—it was plagued with the same injustice that exists in our world.
For instance, the bad characters in the story, like Voldemort and the Death Eaters,
believed "pure blood" wizards were superior to muggle-borns, whom they called "mudbloods.”
Of course, these kind of themes are nothing new in literature–
but J.K. Rowling approaches them in a way that's accessible to children.
And learning about these issues at an early age may help kids apply this understanding to their own social environments.
So, how well do children learn from Harry?
In a series of experiments published in 2015, researchers in Italy examined whether reading
Harry Potter improves attitudes toward stigmatized groups, including immigrants and LGBTQ people.
In a survey of 117 high schoolers, those who read the most Harry Potter books and related
to Harry were more open toward LGBTQ people.
But was that the effect of reading the books or were more open minded people more attracted to the books?
To find out, the researchers gathered 34 fifth graders and asked them about their attitudes toward immigrants.
Then, over a few weeks, the students broke into smaller groups and discussed passages from the Harry Potter books.
Kids who focused on sections dealing with prejudice and also identified with Harry,
showed improved attitudes towards immigrants.
Researchers think the Harry Potter stories have this effect because it improves empathy
– “the experience of understanding another person's condition from their perspective.”
We can see examples of this in the pages!
A textual analysis of the series found that Harry and his friends respond empathetically to acts of discrimination .
Empathy is communicated to readers through Harry's inner thoughts, perspectives, actions and words.
Fiction is the simulation of people and their experiences. So reading is like practicing
how life feels like through another person's eyes – the power of fiction is that this
can lead to changes in everyday life.
Psychologists have surveyed people before and after reading novels and found getting
immersed in a story improves empathy and theory-of-mind.
In one brain imaging study in 2013, researchers found after people read a novel,
three hub regions in their brain show altered activity for several days.
These regions have been linked to language function and representing other people's perspectives.
In other words, when we read stories, we activate the same brain areas
as those involved with the processing of understandings of other people.
And according to the narrative collective-assimilation hypothesis, experiencing a narrative leads
us to psychologically become a part of the group described within the narrative. In a
2011 study, participants who read passages from the Harry Potter and Twilight series
showed this effect. For example, they tended to implicitly associate wizard or vampire words with themselves,
some said they felt more British or thought they had sharper teeth.
In other words, those who read the Twilight series identified with vampires and Harry
Potter readers identified with wizards. Because obviously I'm in Ravenclaw.
So the real magic of Harry Potter is that, by reading it, we become more psychologically
like him: an orphan who stands up against injustice and discrimination, and befriends
a variety of people from different social standings and backgrounds. Because, just as
Dumbledore said, "Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
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為什麼大家都應該讀哈利波特?(Why Everybody Should Read Harry Potter)

8380 分類 收藏
Evangeline 發佈於 2018 年 8 月 10 日    Sammi 翻譯    Evangeline 審核

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《哈利波特》應該是全世界最受歡迎的青少年讀物了,相信大家都有看過。雖然如此,《哈利波特》絕對不只是一般的少年小說!讓這部影片告訴你為什麼吧!

1bitter 0:25
bitter 在這裡的意思是「充滿仇恨的」。除此之外,bitter 也有「尖酸刻薄」的意思,和流行用語 salty 相同。
Their bitter feud started when they both fell in love with the same person.
他們兩個愛上同一個人之後,就成為了仇人。


*同場加映:
【Wong Fu Productions】《值得.愛》第三集:出乎意料 - When it Counts - Ep 3


2empathy 0:37
empathy 是同理心的意思,詞尾的根源是古希臘文的 páthos,是「感覺」的意思。相似的單字有 sympathyapathy,分別指「同情心」和「漠不關心」。形容詞形式為 empatheticsympatheticapathetic
A psychopath is someone who lacks empathy
心理變態的患者缺乏同理心。

I am pretty apathetic about what to have for dinner.
晚餐要吃什麼都沒差。


3plagued 1:02
plagued 這個單字從 plague 「瘟疫」轉品而來,意思是「飽受⋯⋯之苦」。infested 則是「蟲害、鼠害成災」。
Our little island is plagued with natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons.
我們的小島飽受地震和颱風等自然災害之苦。

The underground sewage system is infested with rats.
下水道系統充滿老鼠。


*同場加映:
又做惡夢了嗎?原來惡夢不是壞的!(The Good Side of Bad Dreams: "The Science of Us" Episode 2)


4stigmatized 1:42
stigmatized 的意思是「被污名化的」,名詞「污名」則是 stigma
Obesity in Taiwan is highly stigmatized.
肥胖在台灣被嚴重污名化。


存在於一個社會中的「禁忌」則稱為 taboo
The usage of the N-word, though once common, is now considered to be taboo.
過去對黑人的稱呼當時是普遍的,可是在當今,使用這個字是禁忌。


*同場加映:
【TED】肯尼.羅賓森:學校扼殺了創意嗎? (Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?)


5discrimination 2:41
discrimination 指的是「歧視」、「差別待遇」。用法是前面加形容詞,例如 racial discrimination 是「種族歧視」。動詞是 discriminate
Age discrimination is a common problem in the job market.
年齡歧視在就業市場中是很普遍的問題。

It is not only immoral, but also illegal to discriminate against ethnic minorities.
歧視少數名族不只不道德,更是違法的。


看完這部影片有沒有覺得羅琳真的太厲害了?不過其實也不意外,因為她的 MBTI 性格是 INFJ。擁有這種性格的人都具有理想性,想要默默地、溫柔地改變世界,其他人權鬥士像是甘地、曼德拉和金恩也都是這個性格的喔!

文/ Rachel Kung

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