Next, they studied 117 high school students and discovered that those who dived into “Harry Potter” had more positive perceptions of the LGBT communities than those who did not.
Lastly, they assessed college students. They noticed that those who read it had less of an emotional connection with Voldemort, the villain of the series, and had "improved attitudes toward refugees," the study read.
“Results from one experimental intervention and two cross-sectional studies show that reading the novels of ‘Harry Potter’ improves attitudes toward stigmatized groups among those more identified with the main positive character and those less identified with the main negative character,” the authors wrote.
“Participants reading about Harry Potter's interactions with characters belonging to stigmatized groups may have learned to take the perspective of discriminated group members,” they said, adding, “and in turn, applied this enhanced ability to understand disadvantaged groups to real-world out-group categories.”
Since their findings demonstrated that reading “Harry Potter” books yielded positive attitudes among children, they believe their studies could help reduce prejudices against disadvantaged groups.
For future experiments, they hope to test other popular novels that may have similar effects.