Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter are Real | Karen Shackleford
Social psychologist Karen Shackleford talks about how fictional stories are so consuming because they help us satisfy one of our greatest human needs: the need to develop social expertise. While it’s been a stereotype that nerdy film and tv fans lack social skills, the latest scientific research shows the opposite – that fiction is a natural part of healthy social development.
Karen Shackleford is a social psychologist who studies our social construction of reality via media, particularly focusing on how stories and characters from popular media shape our sense of identity and meaning. Karen’s research addresses how the stories in our popular culture play a role in our understanding of our own social identity and of how we understand our social world and make meaning from it. She is the incoming editor of the APA journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, editor of the Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology and the co-author, with Cynthia Vinney, of Finding Truth in Fiction.