Our Heroes, Ourselves

From The Hunger Games to Harry Potter, heroic fantasy is hot stuff. These modern epics tap into our frustrated impulse to be 21st-century knights, reflect changing social norms—and may even help unleash the workaday hero in each of us.

What Does it Take to be a Hero?

By PT Staff
Six basic character traits of great men and women.

The Social Psychology Behind the Hunger Games

By Mark van Vugt Ph.D.
Insights into human nature

Real Wold Heroes

By Alex Lickerman M.D.
Why most of our heroes aren't really heroic.

Should Children See The Hunger Games?

By Marcia Eckerd Ph.D.
Yes, it has a strong heroine. But what do parents need to think about before kids view violent movies?

The Hunger Games: Was the movie faithful to the novel's philosophy?

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D.
Did the movie betray the philosophy of the novel?

Field Guide to the Enforcer: The Punishers

By Mark Teich
Why some people risk it all to punish evildoers

Talking to Kids About The Hunger Games

By Steven Schlozman M.D.
What we all can learn from the movie's heroes and villains.

Nine Secrets of Courage

By Jeff Wise
Courage: It's not just for fantasy characters.

What Mindfulness Can Do For the Nation

By Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.
A radical proposal to infuse psychology into government

Love and parenting and cancer

By Meredith Resnick L.C.S.W.
Cancer was a word no one uttered in our family.

Follow Your Bliss in an Economic Downturn?

By Preston Ni M.S.B.A.
Discover Your True Calling in Life

Why Myths Still Matter (Part Three): Therapy and the Labyrinth

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D.
What is the psychospiritual significance of the mythical labyrinth?

Why Myths Still Matter: Hercules and His Twelve Healing Labors

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D.
What we can still learn from the psychology of myths, and why it matters.

When Is Therapy Done?

By Samantha Smithstein Psy.D.
In therapy, the road ahead may not always be clear.

Messiahs of Evil (Part Three)

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D.
    What exactly is a messiah complex?

The Mind of a Hero

By Stephanie Newman Ph.D.
What goes on in the mind of a hero who is rushing in to save a crash victim?

How Super Is Superhero Justice?

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D.
What does superhero justice tell us about our own justice systems?

Are the Fangs Real? Vampires as Racial Metaphor in the Anita Blake and Twilight Novels

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D.
Is our collective obsession with vampires really an obsession with race?

The Zen of Watchmen

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D.
Never mind giving vs receiving. Is it better to judge... or to accept?

The Racial Politics of Avatar

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D.
Avatar is being derided as another "white savior" film. It's deeper than that.

The Cost of Justice: The Psychology of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Part 1

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D.
Is Lisbeth Salander's violence justified or is there a better way?

The Racial Politics of X-Men

By Mikhail Lyubansky Ph.D.
Can anti-mutant oppression teach us something about racism?