Project Superhero: Superheroes for All Ages

Professor, author, and martial artist E. Paul Zehr explores real science through the lens afforded by fictional superheroes such as Iron Man, Batman, and Batgirl. In “Project Superhero,” he combines fiction and nonfiction, including interviews with real people, to explore how superheroes can inspire a younger age group to reach their potential and discover who they can be.

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Geek Psych Library from Mad Men Reality to Twilight Fantasy

Books on the psychology of popular culture look at psychology through the lens of specific films, television programs, comic book series, and other entertainment material. Readers likely look at these books the other way around by using psychology to look at Batman, Harry Potter, Dexter, Criminal Minds, The Sopranos, The Simpsons, and more.

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Who Dies to Fight Ebola? Who Kills in Fear of It?

In the milieu of the deadliest ebola outbreak on record, health workers and others risk their lives to fight the spread of this disease. They face danger not only from the destructive virus but from the very people they aim to help, villagers too terrified to welcome wandering strangers. How can any of us know if we’d be the ones who’d die or kill to fight it?

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Doctor Who: "Listen" to Your Fear

BBC’s time traveling hero turns proactive to root out his own childhood fear. A frightening “Doctor Who” episode about fright literally and figuratively explores how fear feeds itself, and turns that around to stress the value of fear and its function in the fight-or-flight response. If fear itself is not truly a thing to fear, fear instead may be your fuel.

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Serpents in a Happy Valley: Does the World Need Villains?

“The world needs villains so there can be heroes,” claims Netflix promotion for the BBC series “Happy Valley.” Can that be true? Does the world really need villains? Can heroism exist without villainy? From a storytelling standpoint, a villain has value, but not all emergencies in everyday life arise from evil intent. Are we so ready to take evil among people for granted?

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A Visit to the Rape Room: Who Sees Humor in Sexual Assault?

Who sees humor in sexual assault? Rape jokes take a variety of forms, generated by a greater variety of intentions. Should those individuals who jest about sexual violence learn greater sensitivity or should others who object to such jokes lighten up? What has empirical research shown us about how, why, and when people will make light of sex crimes? Who makes these jokes?

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Are We Blaming the Famous Victims of Nude Photo Theft?

Should 101 celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence have “known better”? When a hacker steals their private, encrypted photos and distributes them online, fault should be easy to assign. The victims did nothing wrong here, so why do people even discuss this issue of blame? Is hindsight bias at work in this manifestation of the just-world phenomenon, or is schadenfreude afoot?

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