Come November, your fiction preferences may need a real-life impression in your decisions on the polls. Individuals who have learn Harry Potter novels are inclined to have a decrease opinion of Donald Trump, in keeping with a brand new study—and the extra books they’ve learn within the collection, the much less favorably they view the Republican presidential nominee.
These findings held true no matter an individual’s political occasion, gender, age, degree of training, or spiritual beliefs, says research creator Diana Mutz, professor of political science and communication on the College of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Faculty for Communication.
The huge reputation of the collection, by British creator J.Okay. Rowling, made such analysis doable; greater than 450 million copies of the books have been bought worldwide, and Mutz discovered that each Republicans and Democrats had been equally prone to have learn them.
To gauge individuals’s opinions of the controversial businessman-turned-politician, Mutz surveyed a nationally consultant pattern of 1,142 People. (Along with Trump and Harry Potter, she additionally requested them about hot-button election points reminiscent of waterboarding, the demise penalty, and the remedy of Muslims and homosexual individuals.)
She discovered that every ebook individuals had learn within the fantasy collection lowered their evaluations of Trump by about two to 3 factors on a 100-point sale. “This will appear small,” Mutz acknowledged in a press release, “however for somebody who has learn all seven books, the full impression may decrease their estimation of Trump by 18 factors out of 100.”
To a lesser extent, Harry Potter readership was additionally related to a extra optimistic perspective towards Muslim and homosexual individuals, and a extra unfavorable one towards questions on using torture and killing terrorists.
Mutz believes that the books’ message of tolerance and respect for every others’ variations could play a key function in influencing readers’ political opinions.
For instance, she writes, Harry Potter advocates for oppressed house-elves and opposes the evil Lord Voldemort’s quest for “blood purity” amongst wizards. Trump, alternatively, has referred to as for a short lived ban on Muslims getting into the US, and made feedback about minorities, together with ladies, Mexicans, and disabled individuals.
The protagonists in Rowling’s books are additionally reluctant to make use of violence to settle disputes, she writes, whereas Trump has supported waterboarding and bombing terrorists’ households.
Lastly, Mutz writes, “it might merely be too tough for Harry Potter readers to disregard the similarities between Trump and the power-hungry Voldemort.”
The research will seem in a particular election version of the journal PS: Political Science and Politics. Mutz concludes—with apparent bias of her personal—that she’s unsure if Harry Potter can “defeat Donald Trump” on this yr’s election, however that her analysis raises hope that the values the ebook preaches may prevail.
“If half-bloods, werewolves and others ought to be handled with respect and equity because the Potter tales train,” she writes, “so too ought to all human beings.”
This article initially appeared on RealSimple.com.