(STUDY FINDS) – Plenty of little children want to grow up to be Batman or Spider-man. According to researchers from the University of Illinois, however, there are plenty of adults out there who have incorporated vigilantism into their personalities and daily decisions as well.
When we talk about vigilantism in this context, we’re not actually referencing spandex costumes or how to balance great power with great responsibility. No, instead today’s real-world vigilantes meet their heroic quota by closely watching the behavior of others and quickly doling out punishment to anyone who breaks a law or societal norm. This is especially true if the vigilante in question believes the proper authorities have failed to perform their duties.
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The vigilantes described by study authors hardly merit their own comic book or Saturday morning cartoon. Such individuals, researchers explain, are often eager to embrace a role of “maintaining order,” aren’t all that worried about accidentally punishing innocents, and view themselves as kind, benevolent, and moral individuals.