The Jakarta Post
The study found that avid TV watchers seemed less understanding of others, while readers acted in more “socially acceptable” ways. (Shutterstock/File)
Think about stopping at the bookstore next time you head to the mall to pick out a new novel because according to researchers, reading regularly has the potential to make you more empathetic.
Conducted by Kingston University, the study looked at 123 people and their preferences regarding books, TV and plays. Then, through a series of tests participants had their interpersonal skills assessed.
It was found that avid TV watchers seemed less understanding of others, while readers acted in more “socially acceptable” ways.
Researchers even found that genre preference correlated with behavior. Fiction readers demonstrated more positive social behavior, comedy consumers ranked highest in interpersonal skills, and those who read more drama and romance tended to be more empathetic as a whole.
“Exposure to fiction relates to a range of empathetic abilities,” said the researchers, as quoted by The Independent. “Engaging with fictional prose and comedy in particular could be key to enhancing people’s empathetic abilities.” (sul/kes)