Does read­ing make you nicer?

Daily Mail - - News - By Rosie Tay­lor

HAV­ING your nose in a book might seem a lit­tle an­ti­so­cial at times – but read­ing could ac­tu­ally make you a kin­der, more em­pa­thetic per­son, a study has found.

read­ers were more likely to act in a so­cially ac­cept­able man­ner while those who pre­ferred watch­ing tele­vi­sion came across as less friendly and less un­der­stand­ing of oth­ers’ views, re­searchers said.

The 123 par­tic­i­pants in the study were quizzed on their pref­er­ences for books, TV and plays at Kingston Univer­sity, Lon­don. They were then tested on in­ter­per­sonal skills, such as how much they con­sid­ered peo­ple’s feel­ings and whether they acted to help oth­ers.

re­searchers told the Bri­tish Psy­cho­log­i­cal So­ci­ety con­fer­ence in Brighton yes­ter­day that fic­tion fans showed more pos­i­tive so­cial be­hav­iour.

read­ers of drama and ro­mance nov­els were also em­pathic, while lovers of ex­per­i­men­tal books showed the abil­ity to see things from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives.

Com­edy fans scored the high- est for re­lat­ing to oth­ers. The study sug­gested read­ing al­lows peo­ple to see dif­fer­ent points of view, en­abling them to un­der­stand oth­ers bet­ter.

The re­searchers added: ‘Ex­po­sure to fic­tion re­lates to a range of em­pathic abil­i­ties.

‘En­gag­ing with fic­tional prose and com­edy in par­tic­u­lar could be key to en­hanc­ing peo­ple’s em­pathic abil­i­ties.’

How­ever, the au­thors warned the study did not prove cause­and-ef­fect. So it could be that read­ing causes pos­i­tive be­hav­iour, or it could be that thought­ful, well-man­nered peo­ple are more likely to pre­fer read­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.