Before answering that question, though, I really could use submissions for flogging. There are none in the queue, which means you'll just have me blathering about something. Okay, enough pleading . . .
At article titled “Science Shows Something Surprising about People Who Still Read Fiction” announces this conclusion:
They tend to be more empathetic toward others.
Let’s hear it for us! The article reports on the results of scientific studies of readers of fiction and concludes that they are a special breed. For instance, one study concludes that kids who read the Harry Potter series are “better people” because of significant improvement in their perception of stigmatized groups such as immigrants, homosexuals, or refugees.
Another conclusion: fiction readers make great friends as they tend to be more aware of others’ emotions. In a study of “emotional transportation”—how sensitive people are to others feelings—people read a story and were asked how they felt about what happened to the characters. Empathy was only apparent in people who read fiction and were emotionally transported.
Interestingly, people who read literary fiction (versus popular fiction) scored consistently higher on identifying facial emotions solely through the eyes.
Lastly, and I really like this one, because of the psychological processes used to navigate both fiction and real relationships, fiction is not just a simulator of a social experience, it is a social experience.
Check it out. There are links to studies that support these notions.
For what it’s worth.
© 2014 Ray Rhamey