Empathy and Fiction | Psychology Today

Much of what we know about reading fiction predicts that it will move people towards empathy. But what happens when this idea is tested in psychological studies?In a recent post (click here), I discussed the nature of empathy and its relationship to reading. Prompted by a theory that Raymond Mar and I published in 2008 in which we argued that empathy is increased by reading fiction, Dan Johnson (2012), of Washington and Lee University, conducted two studies in which he confirmed this theory, and made an important addition.

 

by Keith Oatley, Ph.D.