Can Harry Potter make you a better person?

As we approach the anniversary of the battle of Hogwarts tomorrow I'm sure many of us have a bit of Potter on the brain. Turns out some researchers do as well. In a fascinating little piece on NPR's Morning Edition today, Hidden Brain correspondent Shankar Vendantam relays how some Italian researchers measured attitudes of children before and after reading Harry Potter and found that after reading the books, the children emerged more tolerant of minorities and people from "disadvantaged backgrounds". What's most interesting to me is that this tolerance extended to refugees, immigrants and gay people - groups whose struggles are perhaps alluded to in the Potter books but not explicitly depicted. Still, this reinforced something many of us know - that the best way to change a mind or enlighten someone as to another's struggles in through story. It's like magic...