Posted on October 28, 2020 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Let’s open our post on a recent study of the effects of reading with a huge caveat.

The researchers themselves said that they weren’t intending to tout one type of reading material against the other — that both help nurture certain socio-cognitive processes, just different ones.

Whew. Okay. And now to the study itself.

At issue were the effects of reading literary fiction versus popular fiction; representative authors provided by the study’s author were Don Delillo, Jonathan Franzen, and Alice Munro / Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, and Jackie Collins, respectively.

What the researchers found, according to PsyPost, which reported on the study, was that literary fiction improved readers’ attributional complexity and accuracy in predicting social attitudes, while popular fiction boosted their egocentric bias.

In layman’s terms? Literary fiction promotes deeper thinking, but popular fiction helps us navigate the social world.

You can read the entire study in PLOS One as well as the summary in PsyPost.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Reading

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