Fiction Readers Have More Empathy
The love of books may begin at any age, but for most, it starts in childhood. Now, scientists are studying the effects of reading on the brain with MRIs, polls, surveys and experiments. The results indicate that readers of fiction are more empathetic toward others. By engaging with a story, they are temporarily placing themselves in a character’s shoes, thus fostering empathy in real life, and literary reading amplifies this effect.
According to a Stanford University study, reading a challenging book also helps us become smarter, as well as more empathetic. By attempting to tackle harder books, we create new connections in our minds that we might not have done otherwise. Neuroscientist Bob Dougherty remarks, “The right patterns of ink on a page can create vivid mental imagery and instill powerful emotions.”
David Comer Kidd, author of another related study, observes, “Like opening a window to let fresh air into our home, literature opens up our minds to the myriad ideas that we wouldn’t be able to experience on our own. We can pause to analyze the experiences depicted as if they were our own, expanding our experience of the world.”
Edit ModuleShow Tags
More from Natural Awakenings
Sacred Sound Yoga, a unique musical studio opening in October, will hold yoga classes that include sacred sound healing and beautiful original music played by owner Rosie Rain and her friends.
In September, Swami Yatidharmananda will travel from India to appear at Santosha Yoga & Ayurveda, in Delafield, to teach his unique practices of mindfulness, meditation and living a spiritual life of devotion.
Rise Yoga Studio is celebrating one year in Mequon with an open house from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., September 15.
The Vegan Sol Food & Drink Expo, an event celebrating all aspects of vegan lifestyles, takes place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 22 at Nicolet High School, in Glendale.
Angel Light Center for the Healing Arts, a resource for health, healing and spiritual development, begins its School of Sound and Healing fall certification program November 2 through 4, in Elm Grove.
On Wednesdays from October 17 through December 12, psychologist Susan Trafton will lead an eight-week class—Engage the Body, Open the Heart, Heal the Mind—at GreenSquare Integrative Health Care Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Dr. Mary Simon, a naturopathic doctor, is now accepting patients at Natural Health Services, located on Milwaukee’s East Side.
Kirtan—call-and-response chants set to music—began in India centuries ago as a spiritual practice and a layman’s way to connect with the divine.
Natural Awakenings is just one of many publications delivering cutting-edge information about natural, noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical health remedies presented by health and wellness advocates, scientists and researchers.
Soil contains bacteria that kills melanoma cancer cells, say Oregon State University researchers.
A survey of 109 emergency room doctors found they frequently underestimated how often they prescribed opioids and that they prescribed fewer when alerted to the situation.
Dutch children that had been breastfed had a 45 percent lower incidence of asthma later in childhood.