All this summer I’ve been exploring the effects of the developing adolescent brain on adolescent behaviour. Recently I came across this article on NPR about how these very same changes impact what teens are reading.
Laurence Steinberg, a psychologist at Temple University, says teens love dystopian fiction, because “(Teen) brains are very responsive to emotionally arousing stimuli. During this time, there are so many new emotions and they are much stronger than those kids experienced when they were younger. When teenagers feel sad, what they often do is put themselves in situations where they feel even sadder. They listen to sad music — think emo! — they watch melodramatic TV shows. So dystopian novels fit right in, they have all that sadness plus big, emotional ideas: justice, fairness, loyalty and mortality.”
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