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Superheroes and their effects on children

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Published on Friday, 10 March 2017

A recent article explains the effects which superheroes can have on children.

The short report was published in the Lëtzebuerger Journal, and was based on an interview of Dr André Melzer, head of the Media and Experimental Laboratory at INSIDE.

In the article, he commented on a study by Coyne and colleagues, who found that children watching superheroes behaved more aggressively one year later than their counterparts who were less interested in superheroes. He argued that superheroes are considered as role models for learning. Although the goals pursued by these heroes are mostly positive and of service to humanity, a full understanding of the complexity of behaviour and underlying intentions requires certain levels of media literacy and cognitive capabilities.

Unfortunately, younger children tend to focus only on the means by which heroes try to achieve their goal; and these means are more often violent behaviours. He added that it is often difficult for parents to predict media effects on children. Therefore, parental mediation in the form of active participation and follow-up discussions with their children is extremely important.

You can find more details on the full article (in German) available below: