Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Watching Harry Potter films enhances creativity in children

Date:
March 20, 2012
Source:
Lancaster University
Summary:
Parents who feel guilty about letting their young children watch too many fantasy movies on TV can relax. Researchers have discovered that youngsters who watch films like Harry Potter improve their imagination and creativity. This is believed to be the first attempt to study whether there any educational benefits in exposing children to magical content like witches and wizards, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy.

Fantasy image of flying horse. Parents who feel guilty about letting their young children watch too many fantasy movies on TV can relax.
Credit: © Ellerslie / Fotolia

Parents who feel guilty about letting their young children watch too many fantasy movies on TV can relax.

Researchers from Lancaster University have discovered that youngsters who watch films like Harry Potter improve their imagination and creativity.

This is the first attempt to study whether there any educational benefits in exposing children to magical content like witches and wizards, Santa Claus, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy.

Related Articles


Watching Harry Potter films could make young children more creative, say researchers at Lancaster University in the UK.

The study examined if there was a link between magical thinking and creativity in preschool children – and it found that there was.

The small-scale study involved 52 four to six-year-old children. The youngsters were split into two groups and shown two 15-minute clips from Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone.

The findings show that after watching the clips, the group who watched the magical scenes in general scored "significantly better" in all three areas than their peers in the other group who watches scenes without any magical content.

Researchers Dr Eugene Subbotsky, Claire Hysted and Nicola Jones from the Department of Psychology at Lancaster University concluded that: “Magical thinking enables children to create fantastic imaginary worlds, and in this way enhances children’s capacity to view the world and act upon it from multiple perspectives. The results suggested that books and videos about magic might serve to expand children’s imagination and help them to think more creatively.”

Magical thinking involves believing in supernatural events like animals speaking human languages, or a witch flying on a broomstick. This involves the ability to construct an alternative world and research has shown that most 4 to 6 year olds think magically in everyday life.

Some of the scenes includes animals talking and witches and wizards performing spells and using wands, while other scenes featured the same characters but without any magical content.

The children were then tested for creativity which included being asked to pretend they were a rabbit or driving a car. They were also asked to think of different ways of putting plastic cups in a bin and for alternative uses for the cup.    

The children who had watched the magical scenes performed significantly better on the creativity tests.

The researchers concluded that rather than just being used for entertainment, “magical thinking can be viewed as an additional source of development of imagination and divergent thinking in children.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lancaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eugene Subbotsky, Claire Hysted, and Nicola Jones. Watching Films With Magical Content Facilitates Creativity in Children. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2010, 111, 261-277

Cite This Page:

Lancaster University. "Watching Harry Potter films enhances creativity in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120320115140.htm>.
Lancaster University. (2012, March 20). Watching Harry Potter films enhances creativity in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120320115140.htm
Lancaster University. "Watching Harry Potter films enhances creativity in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120320115140.htm (accessed January 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins