home
RSS
Bonding with Batman could make you stronger
Study participants were shown either a scrawny or buffed-up version of these comic book characters.
September 17th, 2012
01:19 PM ET

Bonding with Batman could make you stronger

It was hard to keep track of all the superheroes hitting the big screen this summer: Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises." Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America and Thor in "The Avengers." Peter Parker in "The Amazing Spider-Man."

And each character seemed to have bulked up for their latest comeback.

"Over the last few decades, superheroes' bodies have become extremely muscular with body dimensions that are impossible for most men to attain," write the authors of a new study that analyzes the effects of superheroes on male body image.

Past research has shown that seeing muscular figures can make men feel badly about their own bodies, similar to the way seeing stick-thin supermodels can make women question their weight.

But the same effect may not hold true for our favorite comic book characters.

The study, published this week in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, suggests watching superheroes can actually increase males' self esteem - and might make mere mortals stronger.

The study

Researchers with the University at Buffalo asked 98 undergraduate males to rate how much they liked and/or were familiar with Batman or Spider-Man on a scale of 1 to 5. Participants who scored a 4 or higher were said to have a "parasocial" relationship with the superhero - i.e. a one-sided psychological bond. Those who rated less than 2.5 were put into a control group.

All participants were then shown a photo of either a scrawny or buff-looking Batman/Spider-Man. They were given one minute to look at the photo and then asked to rate their mood, self-esteem and body esteem (how they perceive their muscular strength, biceps, etc.)

The undergrads were then tested with a hand-held dynamometer to assess their physical strength.

The results

Participants who had a strong parasocial bond and were shown a muscular superhero photo recorded higher body esteem than those who didn't have a bond with the character.

On the flip side, participants who weren't familiar with the character who were shown a muscular photo experienced a lower body esteem than participants who were shown a scrawny superhero.

More surprising were the strength test results. The undergrads with a parasocial bond who were shown a muscular superhero were stronger than those in the control group and stronger than those with a parasocial bond who were shown a non-muscular photo.

The takeaway

"The thing that I find most interesting ... is the idea that these media figures have real psychological effects on the self," says study author Ariana Young, a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University at Buffalo. "It’s not just mind-numbing entertainment. The bonds that we form –- and we do form real bonds - they affect how we feel about ourselves. And it’s not always in a bad way."

Young is planning another superhero study this semester where she'll analyze the effects of the characters on acts of heroism, or helpful behavior.


soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Buy Real Social Media Likes

    Rattling excellent visual appeal on this web site, I'd rate it 10 10.

    https://BonusLikes.com/

    February 1, 2021 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. malatya escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

    http://www.cuba.tc/escort-kategori/malatya-escort-bayan

    February 4, 2021 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. iskenderun escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

    http://www.iskenderunescort.xyz

    February 5, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mersin escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

    http://www.elitescorthatun.com/ad-category/mersin-escort/

    February 5, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Pianino System

    Definitely appreciate you discussing this article. Great!!

    http://www.pianino.xmc.pl

    February 5, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Pianino Producenci

    Hai bisogno di scaricare musica gratis?! Visita questo sito web. Cerchi musica gratis su internet?

    http://www.pianino.xmc.pl

    February 7, 2021 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Norwegia

    Zeby znalezc przyjaciela trzeba przymknac nieeco oko. Zeby go zachowac trzeba przymknac oba. N. Douglas. Czy wiesz co symbolizuja Kolory i jaka jest ich symbolika w psychologii ? Thx & Regards... 🙂

    http://www.norwegia.xmc.pl

    February 16, 2021 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Blazing Proxy

    Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it's really informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

    https://Dreamproxies.com/buy-proxies/100-private-proxies/

    February 19, 2021 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Filozofia Kartezjusz

    Good job here. I genuinely enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you absolutely bring a new voice to this topic. Not many people would say what youve said and still make it interesting. Properly, at least Im interested. Cant wait to see much more of this from you.

    http://www.filozofia.xmc.pl

    February 19, 2021 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Turystyka w USA

    I am impressed, I have to say. Very seldom do I see a blog that is both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. Your idea is important; the matter is something that not a lot of people are talking intelligently about. Im very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

    http://www.usa.xmc.pl

    February 22, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Cukrzyca

    Great website! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am bookmarking your feeds also

    http://www.cukrzyca.xmc.pl

    March 1, 2021 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Paris Winikoff

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 4, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Nona Masterton

    I've read some good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you put to make this sort of fantastic informative website.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    March 6, 2021 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. scr888 malaysia apk

    Google relies on a fairly democratic system by which consists of vast link structure to find a page's value.
    It really helps and is widely utilized by all SEO experts. Your page in order to
    look professional with zero errors.

    March 8, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Historia Szkła

    Hi there, I found your web site by way of Google whilst searching for a comparable topic, your web site came up, it seems to be great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    http://www.glass.xmc.pl

    March 17, 2021 at 07:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. scr8882

    Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?
    There's a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

    March 30, 2021 at 02:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Co to jest Leasing

    Every time I read from this blog site I learned something new, but the comments here make me think differently at times. http://www.piano.m106.com

    http://www.eleasing.xmc.pl

    March 30, 2021 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. WWW.M106.COM

    I simply want to say I am beginner to weblog and actually savored you’re website. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You definitely come with good posts. Thanks a lot for revealing your blog site.

    http://www.m106.com

    April 6, 2021 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 918kiss

    Based on research, there are now millions of marketers worldwide who are choosing article marketing in promoting their products as well website online.
    It hhas resulted too regarding articles that grow to be posted
    on vaqrious puboishing sites this much difficult any
    person to capture a person's eye of their buyers.

    Its a marvelous idea figure out your site with cookies
    disabled, since search engines, plu some browsers, really don't accept ookies when theyre investigaing website.
    the Web Developer Toolbar anyone to esily disable, delete
    or clear cornbread. Saving you time, and supplying you wit option to emporarily disable
    them, rather than deleting. Could be nice, tthe way it keeps you needding to re-enter various logins and passwords you
    might have had stored years ago.

    I recommsnd this book for anyone, whether really feel
    that you might havee serious worries or not; thee tips within help anyone conquer those
    shadowy demons can actually be wrecking changeover behind
    the scenes.

    Backlinks are links pointing back to website sing their
    company sites. Difficulties just any sites
    though; these are sites are generally related and complementary on the
    content of your website.

    If choice that become worse money online, all you have to do is create web site and stick ads all over it, are generally wrong may could bee killing markdting is
    going to before it even begin. Search engine companies have certain requiremeents tthat appear for to
    make a website good page position. They also look down upon sites that aare vkrtually ad
    farms with little orr no content for Online users and even go with all your efforts to
    blacklist sites like those.

    Hoow Drinking Vinegar Caused my Reduction – Evident than when you Kim's irst article
    oon AC, published in September of 2008. Kim explains how drinking remedy helped her
    lose weight and disappeared her peptic issues.

    It almost all about Matter! If you terribly lack good content in your website, visitors
    will turn away leving the motors to follow inn their steps.
    The trick iss brain people aat your site as long quite
    possibly. Content just what brings people too your
    website aas the keywords point them with the helpful information, products or services.

    Feel free to surf too my homepage – 918kiss

    April 20, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Teodoro Dadd

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life articles and blogs

    http://thisteachinglife.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html

    May 10, 2021 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Dexter Bierly

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/yusuf-hanafy-82493b183

    May 11, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Terence Subert

    I don't know about you guys but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/09/happy-labor-day/

    http://www.donationto.com/nonprofit-organizations/washington/mukilteo/future-of-flight-foundation

    May 16, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Franchesca Kazi

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

    http://judyoconnell.com/tag/1889523/

    May 17, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2

Leave a Reply to WWW.M106.COM


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.