Literature And The Act Of Reading

2174 WordsDec 7, 20169 Pages
Literature is a narrative that hits emotion in which our minds are free to exercise our empathic levels to feel for those we know very little about such as a character in a book. Literary works and the act of reading them teaches readers to walk a mile in a stranger’s shoes, helping them realize how others feel (empathy). In recent years, studies have focused on the exact empirical connection between reading and empathy (e.g., Hakemulder, 2000; Johnson, 2012; Johnson, 2013; Kidd & Castano, 2013; Mar, Oatley, Hirsh, dela Paz, & Peterson, 2006; Mar, Oatley, & Peterson, 2009). Their findings have shown there is a connection between reading and not reading fictional books and levels of empathy in a person. These results were huge because for so long empathy as an emotion was just known to be something that was inherently something you did or did not possess but now with these studies, there is a whole other avenue of being more than just genetics. But even with all the research done in this area of study, less articles have taken this data and attempted to question what this would look like in younger age levels. Mar (Mar RA, Oatley K, Peterson JB 2009) argued that fiction reading may have profound effects on empathic skills of the reader. When a person reads a story, emotions are triggered by that story. According to Oatley (Oatley, K 2002), fiction presents a simulation of real-world problems, and therefore has real consequences for the reader. Empathy, according to Davis
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