Scientists suggest reading novels helps encourage EMPATHY: New research suggests reading can help develop empathy

READING novels could encourage empathy by helping people form ideas about others’ emotions, suggests new research.

It has been previously assumed that reading fiction is good for your mental health, but evidence linking Oliver Twist or Anna Karenina to a broadened mind has been mostly anecdotal. 

Now, in a review published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, a psychologist has delved further into the issue.

Keith Oatley, a Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development in Canada, argues that reading or watching narratives may encourage empathy.