Kid’s Attitudes Toward Superheroes – Indicator of Their Moral Understanding.

Topics: Hero, Superman, Superhero Pages: 13 (4425 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Abstract.
This research focuses on superheroes movies, and on how these movies can influence kids’ moral values. Different sides of the problem, both positive and negative are discussed in the paper, opinions of view of different famous writers, journalists and organizations support these points. Although all the sides are discussed, from the results of survey conducted it can be seen, that 42 sample students from International School of Almaty are more likely to be influenced positively than negatively by movies about superheroes. The paper consists of six main parts: Introduction, Literature review, Methodology, Results, Discussion and Conclusion.

Table of contents.

Abstract.1
Table of contents.2
Introduction2
Literature review.4
Definition/ Features of superheroes.4
Purpose of hero mythology.6
Results of past surveys.7
Methodology.9
Results.10
Discussion.17
Conclusion.19
References.20
Appendix.23

Introduction.
According to Justin F. Martin, member of Human Development and Education, “Regardless of the culture or the environment in which children develop, key aspects of their development include their curiosity and imagination”, (Martin, 2007). Possibly it explains the fact that a lot of cartoons, movies, books about superheroes were created. Superheroes help little kids understand what is good and what is bad around them. Reading or watching stories about superheroes children feel badly when others are in pain, feel responsible for helping those in need, they learn how to forgive those who hurt them, do what they think is right even if others disagree. In most cases kids learn positive things from superhero’s behavior, but there are cases when they borrow bad qualities of anti-heroes, which also exist in Superhero’s stories. Kids sometimes can cheat to win or get ahead, physically assault another person because they saw anti-hero doing it in their favorite cartoon.

The main purpose of this research is to figure out, what do children find attractive in stories about superheroes, and find a relationship between superheroes behavior and kids understanding of morals. In order to achieve the goal, I will try to answer following research questions: 1. What actions of superheroes do kids appreciate more: positive or negative? 2. Do kids start thinking about moral values after watching superheroes movies? 3. What do children think about superheroes and movies about them? To answer the research questions above, I will conduct a survey, based on Davidson and Kmelkov’s questionnaires (Davidson & Kmelkov, 2003). This survey will be conducted among students of International School of Almaty. I will ask children of 13-15 years old answer questions, and then I will analyze these answers.

Literature review.

"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself" -- Joseph Campbell

People have been always thinking of someone who is better, faster, and stronger than us. This is how superheroes were created: humanity wanted to create a creature that will save all our problems. With time, superheroes became some kind of symbol of truth, power and justice all around the world, especially for little children. Superheroes became a good example for kids, they started to imitate heroes, play superheroes games and so on. But with time adults started to realize that superheroes have a huge impact on kids’ behavior and this impact could be both positive and negative. The problem of how superheroes influence kids and their moral values has been studied for a very long time. However, there is no concrete answer to this question. This literature review tries to analyze different points of view to the existing problem and show its different aspects. To make this literature review more structured, the outline will be followed:...
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