Good Reads

Fiction Readers Have More Empathy




The love of books may begin at any age, but for most, it starts in childhood. Now, scientists are studying the effects of reading on the brain with MRIs, polls, surveys and experiments. The results indicate that readers of fiction are more empathetic toward others. By engaging with a story, they are temporarily placing themselves in a character’s shoes, thus fostering empathy in real life, and literary reading amplifies this effect.

According to a Stanford University study, reading a challenging book also helps us become smarter, as well as more empathetic. By attempting to tackle harder books, we create new connections in our minds that we might not have done otherwise. Neuroscientist Bob Dougherty remarks, “The right patterns of ink on a page can create vivid mental imagery and instill powerful emotions.”

David Comer Kidd, author of another related study, observes, “Like opening a window to let fresh air into our home, literature opens up our minds to the myriad ideas that we wouldn’t be able to experience on our own. We can pause to analyze the experiences depicted as if they were our own, expanding our experience of the world.”

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Pampamesayok Shaman School Begins in Medfield

Join Julie Hannon of Inner Peace and Wellness on a shamanic journey, January 4 to 6, plus three additional weekends, at the Hawthorne Farm Retreat Center, in Medfield.

Head, Heart and Gut

Instead of always falling into a default mode of old behaviors, it’s important to check with our built-in guidance system before undertaking a course of action.

Autism's Gut-Brain Axis

Almost half of autistic children have gastrointestinal symptoms, and the more severe the symptoms, the more severe the autism, studies show.

Blood Chemistry

A comprehensive functional blood chemistry analysis can reveal in-depth insight into our health and well-being.

Kick-Start Organ Vitality

Using simple strategies to revitalize five vital organs is a powerful way to kick off our well-being in the new year.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Pampamesayok Shaman School Begins in Medfield

Join Julie Hannon of Inner Peace and Wellness on a shamanic journey, January 4 to 6, plus three additional weekends, at the Hawthorne Farm Retreat Center, in Medfield.

Wireless Warning

The explosion of wireless technology within one generation has been dramatic and created many benefits such as convenience and connectivity, but at what price?

Wellness Professional Networking Event Focuses on the Power of Facebook Groups

Soul Being and Natural Awakenings will cohost a wellness professionals networking event from 6:45 to 8 p.m., December 13, at Newton Chiropractic & Wellness, in Newton Upper Falls.

Special Packages and Memberships Available at Cloud-9 Float & Wellness

Cloud-9 Float & Wellness is now offering unlimited packages and monthly memberships for all services.

SCENAR Therapy: Untapped Potential of Human Healing

Therapy Spotlight
Thousands of doctors, various health practitioners, Olympic athletes and everyday people are using and enjoying SCENAR, a miraculous modality of energy medicine to stay healthy and young.

Pampamesayok Shaman School Begins in Medfield

Join Julie Hannon for 12 Days to an Awakened Life – A Shamanic Journey to Your Center, to be held from January 4 to 6, plus three additional weekends on February 1 to 3, March 22 to 24, and May 18 to 20.