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    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010 edited
    I noticed not a lot of information about the study but quite a bit of opinion.

    I find the entire concept of superheros as role models to be a bit generalized and problematic. Which ones are we talking about? What age group are we talking about? Are the kids reading comics intended for kids or for adults? And so on. One would not give Dark Knight Returns to a 6 year old, etc.

    Looking at a lot of the movies listed by longtimelurker, I would guess that most of them are rated PG-13, as in not intended for kids anyway. The intended audience matters.

    edit to make clearer.
  1.  (8755.22)
    Bad Science is Bad Science.
    Just because you have a psych degree doesn't mean you're impervious to engaging in Bad Science. Anyone can pick and choose evidence for any theory, and twist data to make sure it's correct.
    The ages 4-18 is a rather large age range, and what's appropriate for a 4 year old isn't necessarily the same thing that's fine and dandy for an 18 year old man! The fact that the study's author is indicating that 4 year olds and 18 year olds share the same needs in a role model, tastes, etc is gross over-generalization, and not backed by science. I'm also wondering how many four year olds are out there reading comics and watching pg-13 and rated r a Psychologist she should damn well know that a 4 year old and an 18 year old have different mental abilities, ways of understanding the world, as well as socially acceptable (or not) choices in media; and at 18, I think a person can damn well read what they want. The whole macho image thing isn't just a comics thing- it's verymuch a part of American society, esp. with older generations!

    We also don't know that her study was accepted by the APA after peer review; only that she mentioned it at a meeting, or how her study's participants were found (I suspect bias is involved).

    BAD psychologist, Bad, bad! The Professor needs to go back to school and learn some science, not just pandering to a media looking for the next thing to get people's attention! >:P
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2010
    I've been trying to think of how to talk about this without wandering too far afield from the topic of superheroes. And I think there's two things to address.

    1. "Role Models" What I can tell you about role models is that one can't really pick to be a role model or not. No one knows who a particular kid is going to idolize/emulate/take as a cautionary tale. Furthermore, no one can really avoid being called a role model if another adult feels there are children watching them. It just sorta happens when in proximity to kids by virtue of living within society. But it's been my observation (and my experience) that a person gets called a role model usually as a normalizing measure "You have to be a good example! kids are watching!" Trust me, no matter how much a person thrashes around whining about not picking to be a role model and not wanting the job (a) there's no telling what kids are picking up taking with them and (b) the forces trying to enforce a certain behavior on that person aren't going to let up.

    2. "Superheroes" I don't know if Prof Lamb or anyone else conducting these studies read up on superhero archetypes but I don't even understand approaching comics from a psychological stand point and not even reference Jung. Archetypes, even heroic ones, aren't necessarily developed to save us from ourselves, they - at least the good/solid ones - explain us to ourselves. If superheroes are a role models it's a mistake to assume to that they were put in place to be models for children as opposed to being models for adults. That is, archetypes are built upon by the creators as characters they want to see come to life. Then the fanbase follows them, for good or ill, as closely or distantly as a given fan cares to. Whether its Heracles or Sir Lancelot or Tony Stark, fans dig them because of something in themselves that resonates in the fictional character. To talk about them like they are monoliths imposed on the frail minds of the young is to completely miss why we indulge fiction in the first place.

    My pseudo-psychological manifesto in 500 words or less.
  2.  (8755.24)
    Last time we saw Superman (Superman Returns), he was a stalkerish absentee father who arguably gave Lois the superdickery equivalent of a ruffie by leaving her pregnant with no idea how the deed had happened to her.

    The last time we saw Clark Kent (Smallville), he was lying douche bag whose constant abuse of his friendship with Lex is arguably partly responsible for his friend's descent into evil, an attitude for which I am not aware of his ever having displayed any sort of awareness.

    OTOH, Tony is fully aware that he's a dick and has done tremendous wrong in the past, things for which he is attempting his emotionally crippled best to make up for.
  3.  (8755.25)
    Raz wins the thread.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2010
    If anybody tries to tell me Batman is a poor role model, I will punch them in the face.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2010
    Apparently and I think I read this somewhere or other, comics aren't for kids anymore. Huh. Who knew?