How Do You Become a Wizard?


Quick Answer

According to a 2011 University of Buffalo study, an individual temporarily "becomes" a witch or wizard when reading fantasy novels about these types of characters. Individuals who participated in a psychological study at the university adopted the character traits, personal attitudes and moral characteristics of the magical individuals that they were reading about.

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In "Becoming a Vampire Without Being Bitten: The Narrative Collective Assimilation Hypothesis," which was published in "Psychological Science," authors Gabriel and Young discuss the idea that social connection can be experienced while reading. Some participants in the study read a passage from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." The study found that individuals who are not actively experiencing a social event but are instead reading a fantasy novel experience similar feelings of belonging. This allows them to experience the positive feelings associated with social interaction without actual social interaction.

These individuals temporarily take on the behaviors and habits of the wizards, magicians and other fantasy characters in these novels. In their mind, they are a member of the social group they are reading about, and their behavior is affected by the plot of the story that they read. These individuals become wizards, on an imaginative psychological and social level while reading these novels.

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