“A new study to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found that if a book is absorbing enough for its reader, the characters on a page can actually change future behaviors of the reader.
But only if the books are good. And only if your reader can identify with the main characters.
Researchers at Ohio State University looked at what happened to those participants in the study who reported that while reading a piece of fiction, they found themselves “feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses of one of the characters as if they were their own.” The researchers call this particular reaction “experience-taking.” It’s know among avid readers as “losing yourself in a good book.”
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