Friday, July 11, 2008

Bookworms Take Heart

Proof that all those years hiding out in the high school library was good for you.

Socially awkward? Hit the books

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

July 10, 2008 at 9:14 AM EDT

For a good chunk of the summer, 17-year-old Charlotte Spafford plans to hole up in her room so the words of author Toni Morrison can transport her deep into the American South. Not exactly a sure-fire way to enhance her teenage social life - or is it?

A group of Toronto researchers have compiled a body of evidence showing that bookworms have exceptionally strong people skills.

Their years of research - summed up in the current issue of New Scientist magazine - has shown readers of narrative fiction scored higher on tests of empathy and social acumen than those who read non-fiction texts. And follow-up research showed that reading fiction may help fine-tune these skills: People assigned to read a New Yorker short story did better on social reasoning tests than those who read an essay from the same magazine.

Read the Whole Article

1 comment:

Adelaide said...

This is really interesting.

When I was in High School I thought reading literature was helpful in gaining wisdom. I've been rethinking this theory more and am coming to a conclusion closer to what this article points towards. I think reading fiction is useful in the cultivation of empathy.

Not that it necessarily needs a "use."

Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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