» Can Reading Fiction Improve Empathy? – Psych Central News

An emerging theory suggests exposure to narrative fiction can improve an individual’s ability to understand what other people are thinking or feeling.

Dr. Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, said, “we understand stories using basic cognitive functions, and there is not a special module in the brain that allows us to do this. Understanding stories is similar to the way we understand the real world.”

There is some evidence that adults who process stories deeply and are highly engaged in the story report more empathy, but the results have been inconsistent.