A growing body of evidence suggests that the pro-Potter camp might be on to something, and that reading Rowling’s work, at least as a youth, might be a good thing.

For decades it’s been known that an effective means of improving negative attitudes and prejudices between differing groups of people is through intergroup contact – particularly through contact between “in-groups,” or a social group to which someone identifies, and “out-groups,” or a group they don’t identify with or perceive as threatening. Even reading short stories about friendship between in- and out-group characters is enough to improve attitudes toward stigmatized groups in children. A new study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that reading the Harry Potter books in particular has similar effects, likely in part because Potter is continually in contact with stigmatized groups.

– Bret Stetka

via Why Everyone Should Read Harry Potter – Scientific American.