Everybody loves to hate the bad guy. Here’s an interesting piece from the BPS on the evolutionary importance of baddies in stories.
Far from being escapist titillation, Kjeldgaard-Christiansen thinks that creating these tales may in fact have an evolutionary purpose. Taking these short trips into the dark sides of our natures, and seeing good triumph over evil, helps us to reaffirm our altruistic tendencies, leading to better cooperation overall.
The article is on the British Psychological Society’s site, here.
I also posted a version of this on Burning Pine.