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Social Psychology and the Comic-Book Superhero: A Darwinian Approach

Abstract:

Why is the comic-book superhero such a persistent topic of cultural representation? Citing Dutton’s evolutionary aesthetic, we argue that comic-book superheroes persist because they offer a cultural means of negotiating the gap between the small group size that human beings have evolved a cognitive architecture to deal with, and the much larger group size that is entailed by modern social arrangements. This position implies four predictions: the superhero should (1) exhibit punitive prosoci...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Not peer reviewed
Version:
Author's Original

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Publisher copy:
10.1353/phl.2014.0019

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Department:
Oxford, MSD, Experimental Psychology
More by this author
Institution:
University of Oxford
Department:
Oxford, MSD, Experimental Psychology
David-Barrett, T More by this author
Silva Junior, M More by this author
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Journal:
Philosophy and Literature Journal website
Volume:
38
Issue:
1A
Pages:
A195-A215
Publication date:
2013
DOI:
EISSN:
1086-329X
ISSN:
0190-0013
URN:
uuid:b8a2be9a-4975-4240-a965-286a7a3b779c
Source identifiers:
375180
Local pid:
pubs:375180

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