Superheroes and psychology: A look into the minds of popular cha - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Superheroes and psychology: A look into the minds of popular characters

Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA) Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA)
Dr. Travis Langley signing books at WTAMU (Source: KFDA) Dr. Travis Langley signing books at WTAMU (Source: KFDA)
Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA) Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA)
Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA) Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Source: KFDA)
CANYON, TX (KFDA) -

They are fighting crime, battling supervillains and protecting the public.

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Superheroes and comic books are taking over pop culture in the Panhandle with a new exhibit at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum.

Pop Culture: A Cultural Revolution is at the Harrington Changing Gallery through December 2018.

"Superheroes are a huge part of pop culture,” said Stephanie Price, Marketing Director at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. “They are everywhere and even more recently with Black Panther and Wonder Woman and comics becoming more and more popular in our culture and becoming more reflective of our society every day.”

So much so, that some people, like Dr. Travis Langley, have taken to studying superheroes and the science behind their backstories and minds.

"They want to hear about the psychology of the characters, but in talking about the psychology of the characters, I get to talk about the psychology of real human beings,” said Dr. Langley, a psychology professor, author, and self-proclaimed ‘superherologist.’ "I use fictional characters to talk about reality."

Wonder Woman is one of the biggest superheroes of this past year, thanks, in part, to last summer's blockbuster.

Beyond the bulletproof bracelets and shield, what lies behind the mind of Diana of Themyscira?

"Wonder Woman is mentally healthy but she was created by a psychologist,” said Langley.

That creator, William Marston, is connected to helping develop one of the first lie detector tests.

"So here is this man who is involved in developing technology to detect lies and he creates this character that has a magic lasso to make people tell the truth,” said Langley.

This superherologist’s bread and butter, though, is Batman.

“One of my earliest words really was Batman,” said Langley.

From phobias to PTSD, what drives the psychology of Bruce Wayne?

"Batman is a superhero because of his psychology. He is the one with a tragic, very human origin,” said Langley. “He does not have superheroes, he has the resources and peak physical ability beyond most of us, but there's still something very human about his story."

However, if that human side of Batman doesn't convince you of his connection to psychology...

“His enemies fill their own asylum!" exclaimed Langley.

Yeah, that should do it.

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