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The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (Psychology of Popular Culture series) [Paperback]

By Robin S. Rosenberg (Editor) & Jennifer Canzoneri (Editor)
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Item description for The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (Psychology of Popular Culture series) by Robin S. Rosenberg & Jennifer Canzoneri...

Unmasking superhuman abilities and double lives, this analysis showcases nearly two dozen psychologists as their essays explore the minds of pop culture's most intriguing and daring superheroes, including Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and the X-Men. Exposing the inner thoughts that these reclusive heroes would only dare share with trained professionals, heady experts give detailed psychoanalyses of what makes specific superheroes tick while answering such questions as Why do superheroes choose to be superheroes? Why is there so much prejudice against the X-Men mutants? What makes Spider-Man so altruistic? and Why are supervillains so aggressive? Additionally, the essays tackle why superheroes have such an enduring effect on American culture.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   259
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.82 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2008
Publisher   Benbella Books
ISBN  1933771313  
ISBN13  9781933771311  

Availability  0 units.

More About Robin S. Rosenberg & Jennifer Canzoneri

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Robin Rosenberg, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and coauthor of Abnormal Psychology, Fundamental of Psychology, and Psychology in Context. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > Psychoanalysis
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration (Psychology of Popular Culture series)?

what a quack.....  Sep 8, 2008
I really do think the GOP paid this quack writer to write something which smears Comic books, It's like Seduction of the Innocent all over again. But it;s meaning is clear and it is also distrubing.
Superheroes under psychological atack  Apr 9, 2008
"The Psychology of Superheroes" gave me the possibility of updating my general knowledge about state of the art Psychology while watching great characters like Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the Justice League, the X-Men or lots of others make astonishing psychological deads while flying around, defeating powerful enemies, even saving the Earth. All of this through the eyes and minds of quite competent fellow psychologist writers. We learn a lot about what makes us appreciate superheroes and the way they contribute to our life and mirror our quest for happiness. A powerful book indeed, even capable of saving the souls of Comic books! So thank you Robin Rosenberg for making this happen.
Clever, witty and intriguing  Feb 24, 2008
"The Psychology of Superheroes" by Robin S. Rosenberg (editor) is an outstanding collection of eighteen essays about the insights we can gain in human psychology by studying the behavior of comic book superheroes. Almost all of the authors are college professors or doctoral candidates in psychology who expertly blend their professional knowledge with their love of comics. The result is a clever, witty and intriguing book that should appeal to anyone interested in psychology or pop culture.

Several authors dedicate their essays to studing how individual superheroes fit or deviate from standard psychological models and practices. For example, Christopher Patrick and Sarah Patrick contend that the Incredible Hulk suffers from a textbook example of reactive aggression triggered by the extreme physical and emotional maltreatment he suffered as a youth. Robert Biswas-Diener finds that the Spider-Man alter ego allows Peter Parker to gain encouragement through performance and an increase in personal happiness in general accordance with positive psychology theory. On the other hand, Bradley Daniels informs us that the insanity plea seems to be used far more frequently in the comics than in real life; and thankfully, no realworld mental institution exists that is as easily escapable as Gotham's notorious Arkham Asylum.

The moral behavior of superheroes is discussed in several pieces. Peter DeScioli and Robert Kurzban compare and contrast the absolutist ethics of Superman with the more complex utilitarian ethics of Batman, who nonetheless retains a consistent sense of purpose to ensure socially just outcomes. Andrew Getzfeld suggests that The Punisher's moral outrage over the murder of his family compels him to engage in an extreme form of vigilantism that, unfortunately, would probably remain intractable even if he was afforded the benefit of intensive clinical treatment.

Other articles shed light on the psychology of groups, institutions and society. Mikhail Lyubansky shows how the X-Men embody the ideology of tolerance and diversity within the walls of the Xavier Institute but are unfairly scapegoated for their enviable talents by human society. Chuck Tate studies the history of Wonder Woman to discuss how changing societal attitudes towards women has made the struggle to depict a strong, independent woman to remain a highly problematic task.

These are just a few of the many remarkable essays contained in this fun, intelligent book. It is highly recommended to everyone.

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