The Psychology Of Darth Vader

Dr. Andrea Letamendi, a clinical psychologist, often connects geekery to science. She’s explored the motivations for characters like Batman, Batgirl and the Penguin and has spoken on panels about superhero psychology at conventions such as San Diego Comic-Con. In a recent article titled “The Dark Side: Why We Must Join,” she takes a deeper look at Darth Vader. She examines his path from his childhood as a slave to his transformation to a Sith Lord to his ultimate redemption, and she emphasizes that we all have a little bit of the Dark Side in us.

One point she discusses is how the mask and anonymity Anakin gains as Vader helped blur the line between right and wrong; from her article:

Towering in height, face obscured completely by a reflective black mask, his physical appearance finally matches his menacing behavior. Hidden by his cybernetic parts and his armor, fully developed Commander Vader perpetrates some of the most terrifying and violent acts– warfare, torture, assisted genocide. His mask and helmet may actually facilitate his evildoing. Studies have shown that anonymity and deindividuation are associated with increased aggression and rule-breaking. Some of the most famous and widely cited psychological studies comes from work that shows that mask-wearing disinhibits typically restrained behavior.

That analysis is just a small part of a fantastic article that might make you look at Darth Vader differently. Check out the full post at the link below.

(via Under the Mask)

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