February 28, 2017 - Comments Off on ‘What You Read Matters More Than You Might Think’

‘What You Read Matters More Than You Might Think’

An interesting read on your brain's response to short and vapid writing versus deep and meaningful writing. The outcome is obvious, but it's worth remembering.

On the benefits of reading fiction:

Understanding others’ mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies—and that makes a writer excellent at creating multilayered characters and situations. Not much research has been conducted on the theory of mind (our ability to realize that our minds are different than other people’s minds and that their emotions are different from ours) that fosters this skill, but recent experiments revealed that reading literary fiction led to better performance on tests of affective theory of mind (understanding others’ emotions) and cognitive theory of mind (understanding others’ thinking and state of being) compared with reading nonfiction, popular fiction, or nothing at all. Specifically, these results showed that reading literary fiction temporarily enhances theory of mind, and, more broadly, that theory of mind may be influenced greater by engagement with true works of art. In other words, literary fiction provokes thought, contemplation, expansion, and integration. Reading literary fiction stimulates cognition beyond the brain functions related to reading, say, magazine articles, interviews, or most online nonfiction reporting.

That's an activity worth pursuing.

Published by: drewcoffman in Links of Note

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