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Study: Reading 'Harry Potter' Makes You a Better Person

LONDON - FEBRUARY 28:  Part of a collection of 550 first edition Harry Potter books are displayed on February 28, 2008 in London. Bloomsbury Auctions are selling the collection, known as 'The Property of a Gentleman', in their Children's and Illustrated Books, Original Artwork, Private Press and Limited Editions' two day sale on February 28 and 29, 2008 in London. The collection of Harry Potter books range from Finnish, Gaelic, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Welsh and six different Indian dialects to Hebrew, Turkish, Polish,Indonesian, ancient Greek and Latin.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Photograph by Getty Images

At last, science confirms what Potterheads everywhere have known all along: Reading J.K. Rowling's addictive "Harry Potter" series is more than just good for you — it makes you a better person.

If any of you non-"Harry Potter" readers out there are skeptical, hear us out.

A new study recently analyzed groups of secondary school and college students living in Italy and the U.K., and found that those who had read the best-selling novels were actually less prejudiced and more accepting of others. This was especially true when it came to commonly stigmatized groups, like the LGBT and immigrant communities.

"Reading the novels can potentially tackle actual prejudice reduction," the researchers assert in the study's findings, which can be read in full in The Journal of Applied Social Psychology. In many cases, they found that students who were empathetic toward immigrants often drew parallels between their plight and those of the "Mudbloods" — the ostracized, muggle-born wizards with no wizarding ancestry that Voldemort wishes to eradicate.

The research also revealed some interesting tidbits about what your favorite character says about you. Specifically, those who related to Harry the most had "improved attitudes" compared to those who favored other darker characters such as Voldemort.

So there you have it — yet another reason to shove "The Sorcerer's Stone" into your kid's hands the second they master the alphabet. (Not that you really needed one.)

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