The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration

Front Cover
Robin S. Rosenberg, Jennifer Canzoneri
BenBella Books, 2008 - Psychology - 259 pages
19 Reviews
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

An interesting set of essays using comic book superheroes to make some points about more general huamn behaviors and attitudes. Fun, and at times thought-provoking. Read full review

Review: The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration

User Review  - Holden Attradies - Goodreads

An interesting read, but like most anthologies the individual entries were pretty hit or miss. I think for me the big thing was that I read Marvel stuff and generally dislike the DC heroes and the ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

THE POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUPERHEROES
5
THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA
19
FROM KRYPTON KANSAS OR BOTH?
29
ANTIHEROISM IN THE CONTINUUM OF GOOD AND EVIL
51
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY OF PETER PARKER
65
PREJUDICE LESSONS FROM THE XAVIER INSTITUTE
75
WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A SUPERHERO
91
IS THERE A SUPERHERO IN ALL OF US?
105
THE STEREOTYPICAL WONDER WOMAN
147
WHAT WOULD FREUD SAY? PSYCHOPATHOLOGY AND THE PUNISHER
163
COMING TO TERMS WITH BIZARRO
175
COPING WITH STRESSTHE SUPERHERO WAY
187
FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY AND GOTHAMS NOT SO SERIOUS HOUSE
201
ORIGINS OF RAGE
213
GENDER TYPICALITY AND EXTREMITY IN POPULAR CULTURE
229
CRACKING THE SUPERHEROS MORAL CODE
245

FICTION AND FACT
119
AGGRESSION AND THE BATMAN
135

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About the author (2008)

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

Bibliographic information