Batman Psychology: Psychologist Takes Clinical Look At Comic Book Character
By: Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer Published: 07/13/2012 10:36 AM EDT on LiveScience
He wears a caped bat costume in public and funds an alter ego out of his personal fortune. As a child he witnessed his parents' murders; as an adult, he puts his own life on the line, practicing a personal brand of vigilante justice.
He may be a comic book character, but Batman provides fertile ground for a psychologist, and California clinical psychologist Robin Rosenberg has taken up the challenge.
But rather than a confidential assessment in her office, Batman's evaluation takes place in the pages of her new book: "What's the Matter With Batman?: An Unauthorized Clinical Look Under the Mask of the Caped Crusader"(CreateSpace, June 7, 2012). [10 Best Comic Book Movies of All Time]
As a character that came into being in 1939, Batman has had plenty of adventures, which, as of July 20, will include those detailed in the new movie The Dark Knight Rises.
No doubt, Batman has a troubled past. At the age of 8 or 10 - depending on the story - he witnesses his parents murders during a robbery, and, as a result, he resolved to go to war on crime, operating outside the criminal justice system.
"He is the poster boy for post-traumatic growth," Rosenberg said.
This term describes the process of becoming stronger and developing new goals and beliefs by making meaning of traumatic experiences, she explains. In the real world, it is not uncommon for people to turn to social activism. For instance, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving lost her daughter to a drunk driver; John Walsh, the host of the anti-crime TV program "America's Most Wanted," had a son abducted and murdered; and after the Lewis family lost their 7-year-old son Kyle to a rare infection acquired while swimming, they have fought to raise awareness of the problem...