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But what should educators do with these findings? How exactly can we adapt what seem like abstract ideas into actionable techniques? Not everything we read magically transports us to a fictional world. But it may be worth choosing reading materials that are known for their transportational potential.


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One study examined the effects of fiction on two different types of empathy: cognitive more like sympathy and affective actually feeling what someone else is feeling. Thirty-three participants were tested on prior exposure to fiction, transportation, and different measures of cognitive empathy, affective empathy, and helping tendency. The results revealed that exposure to fiction was associated with cognitive, but not affective, empathy, while the experience of being transported was associated with story-induced affective empathy. Story-induced affective empathy was also associated with helping tendency.

In a course setting, make sure some of the reading materials you select for students have a reputation for being especially engaging. I recommend The Giver for younger students and The Road for older students. In a study on phonetic, semantic, and grammatical foregrounding, subjects who read literary excerpts with a higher rate of these types of foregrounding reported longer reading times and stronger feelings of defamiliarisation.


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  8. Foregrounding can include any number of literary devices, from repetition to irony to metaphor. The point is, it forces a reader to consider new perspectives and possibilities, which is what people are doing when they experience empathy. Nabokov and Faulkner are examples of writers who use foregrounding to great effect.

    Students need to set aside time for stillness. Whether you encourage them to do it in their own time or during course time, be sure to mention the concept and sufficiently distinguish it from reflection in your description. Doing so may even enhance your respect for others.

    Empathy And the Novel - Suzanne Keen - Google книги

    Similarly,in their study on reading and empathy, Bal and Veltkamp found that the effects of reading fiction did not occur right after the reading but rather one week later. Two experiments showed that empathy was influenced over a period of one week for people who read a fictional story. Schank and Abelson argue that when people organise information in stories a process that fiction should facilitate, as it consists of stories already , the representations of these stories last better and longer.

    That means the effects of fiction should generally last longer than, say, the effects of reading a newspaper article. For the sleeper effect to occur, people need time to rethink and relive that what has been read. You can follow her on Twitter sagamilena or Facebook. If you are a human, do not fill in this field.

    The reason? Imagination Neuropsychology has shown us that fictional texts are actually processed differently in the brain than factual texts. The Case For Quality A study published in Science revealed that after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence.

    Empathy and the Novel

    Keywords: novel reading , empathy , altruism , neuroscience , psychological research , cognitive literary studies , narrative theory. Forgot password? Don't have an account? All Rights Reserved. OSO version 0.

    Empathy and the Novel

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    Publications Pages Publications Pages. Search my Subject Specializations: Select Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Empathy and the Novel Suzanne Keen Abstract This book presents an account of the relationships among novel reading, empathy, and altruism. More This book presents an account of the relationships among novel reading, empathy, and altruism. Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication. Print Save Cite Email Share. Show Summary Details.