Why Do We Love Crazy? Analyzing Batman Villains using the Scientific Method

Jared-Leto-Joker-Tattoos-Teeth For whatever reason, we as fans are intrigued and even obsessed with Batman’s enemies. However flawed, characters like the Joker, Harley Quinn, Deathstroke and the Red Hood have crept their way into mainstream pop culture and have seriously devout cult followings-leaving Batman in the shadows…pun intended. Next year they will even get their first feature film Suicide Squad that will not feature the caped crusader. We all know Bruce Wayne is a smart guy and never underestimates his foes, but how exactly does he psychoanalyze his enemies? Let’s assume for a second that he employes the scientific method by performing research and analyzing the psychological state of his villains. He would have to identify what is their psychological state, and what psychological disorder is exhibited. After conducting thorough research, hacking into Arkham Asylum’s medical records, he would have to hypothesize and come to a diagnosis for each of them. Next, Batman would test his hypothesis with an experiment by likely using verbal cues of attack strategies that trigger the villain’s behavior, motives and views to determine and reveal symptoms of any psychological disorders. Bruce would then analyze this data under a critical lens to determine if the villain’s behaviors are indicative of the hypothesized disorder’s symptoms. The data may even point toward a disorder that was not initially hypothesized. Batman is known for using science and technology as a tactical defense strategy. Knowing his enemy’s emotional and mental state is an important part of this process. What kind of mental disorder do you think the Joker suffers from? Or maybe the scariest thing about him is that he’s not crazy at all…


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Students develop an understanding of the scientific method by performing research and analyzing the psychological state of Batman villains.

Log in to view the full Lesson Plan.

View the Lesson Assignment

Back to NuSkool
Lesson tags: Batman, DC Comics, Eighth, Featured, Film, Ninth, Pop Culture, Science, Seventh, Sixth, Suicide Squad, Television, The Joker, Villains

Anthony Naclerio

Anthony Naclerio Tony Naclerio is a curriculum writer and experienced Science educator. Tony specializes in merging video games, music, movies, and other forms of entertainment with life science principles. Tony believes that the key to teaching science is showing how science can apply to everyday life. Science is, in its purest sense, a way to understand the world around you, and in turn, yourself.