What’s This Whole Vampire Thing?

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Does the popularity of fantastical books that take place in make-believe worlds have an effect on how children view themselves? A recent study on college students suggests that we get more immersed in fictional worlds than we may have realized. After reading passages from either Twilight or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, participants’ conscious and unconscious associations with vampires and wizards were examined. Those who read Twilight more strongly associated themselves with vampires, while Harry Potter readers felt a stronger association to the wizarding community. In fact, some participants even believed themselves to have some of the superhuman qualities of these fictional characters!