Friday, October 7, 2011

The psychology of reading

Our 6th annual RA in a day workshop is coming up soon, and we are building on an extremely popular session from last year's workshop with one of this year's sessions.

One of our speakers last year was York University's Dr. Raymond Mar (read my summary of his talk here), whose topic was “Empirical research on reading, and its implications for advising readers.” This year, we will hear from Dr. Keith Oatley, novelist and professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, about the psychology of reading fiction: how and why novels and short stories engage readers, and what the effects of reading are.

If the psychology of reading interests you, here are some other resources:

Reading Fiction Impacts Aggressive Behaviour
Researchers report that reading literature depicting aggression can impact how those readers respond to provocation.

Reading fiction 'improves empathy', study finds
US researchers measure impact of reading JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer

"Why fiction is good for you"
Keith Oatley proposes that stories create "a mental model in which readers can try out ideas about themselves and others."

"The function of fiction is the abstraction and simulation of social experience."

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