Facts About Fiction

benefits-to-readingLeisure reading has fallen as a popular activity with people over the last two years. New studies in Canada have shown several benefits to reading fiction, especially in children.

The University of Toronto has reported that two new studies they have conducted suggest that this may have negative repercussions on children and adults. The main focus is on the Soft Skills; the personal attributes that enhance a person’s individual interactions, job performance, habits and overall friendliness. These are directly equated with the Emotional Intelligence Quotient or “EQ”.

A leading author in the area of personal development, Maja Djikic, Ph.D. is the Director of Self-Development at the Rotman Shool of Management. She sites these findings as have a particular repercussion for our schools, noting a dangerous trend away from arts and soft skills.

[message_box color="red"]“The prejudice of adulthood that reading fiction is inferior seems to be finding its way straight into our schools,” said Djikic, a senior research associate at the University of Toronto. “You think it’s going to help students out there in real life (to emphasize quantifiable skills) when, in fact, nothing will help them more than being able to think well and understand other people.”[/message_box]

There are two main factors fiction can affect.

Increases Empathy

Cognitive Empathy or the ability to understand what another person is feeling is higher among frequent readers of fiction. People who are not curious or open to experience show a significant boost in empathy after reading only 6,000 words.

Lowers Anxiety

Reading fiction can lower the discomfort of ambiguity because the fictional chaos is not directly affecting us and we can be more accepting of it. The experiences in reading can prepare us emotionally for real life and the need for order lessens.

Our personal development is a lifelong process. So remember to eat right, get some rest, exercise and read some fiction.

To learn more about this subject visit: The Affects of Literature on Empathy by: Maja Djikic

About The Author

Robert Hatfield hails from mid-western Ohio. Comedy and Adventure stories are his passion. Editing and Reviewing are the fields of work he enjoys. Writing has been an interest for the past 25 years and he now has the time to pursue it. As a Moderator on, he welcomes any questions or requests for help.

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