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The empathy app.

January 20, 2011 \pm\31 9:13 pm

This from Scientific AmericanEenteresting.

The types of information we consume have also shifted in recent decades; specifically, Americans have abandoned reading in droves. The number of adults who read literature for pleasure sank below 50 percent for the first time ever in the past 10 years, with the decrease occurring most sharply among college-age adults. And reading may be linked to empathy. In a study published earlier this year psychologist Raymond A. Mar of York University in Toronto and others demonstrated that the number of stories preschoolers read predicts their ability to understand the emotions of others. Mar has also shown that adults who read less fiction report themselves to be less empathic.

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5 Comments
  1. January 21, 2011 \am\31 1:25 am 1:25 am

    I’m all for literature having its sway, but why is fiction, particularly, the persuasive element of empathy, and not poetry, personal essays, or even, off-the-page human interaction?

  2. Robin Elizabeth Sampson permalink
    January 21, 2011 \am\31 7:57 am 7:57 am

    I always have a question when I read stuff like this – how come the reading done online doesn’t seem to be considered “real” reading?

  3. January 21, 2011 \am\31 7:59 am 7:59 am

    Maybe the scientists forgot about poetry? A lot of people do.

  4. January 22, 2011 \pm\31 5:38 pm 5:38 pm

    It’s probably because nobody reads poetry anymore. Poetry was so 1996.

    • January 22, 2011 \pm\31 6:58 pm 6:58 pm

      i was into poetry in ’93 when i discovered the doors and my pothead boyfriend told me jim morrison was a poet like whoa.

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