We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES
UAL Research Online

To read or not to read?

Turner, Rose and Felisberti, Fatima. M (2017) To read or not to read? In: British Psychological Society Annual Conference, 3 - 5 May 2017, Brighton, UK.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Turner, Rose and Felisberti, Fatima. M

Objectives: Experience with fictional prose positively relates to empathic abilities. The significance of different media formats and thematic genres, however, remains unclear. This study tested the hypothesis that experience of different fiction media and thematic genres relate to differences in empathic skills.

Design: The correlational design examined associations between fiction experience (fiction exposure, media preferences, genre preferences and acting experience) and empathic abilities (perspective taking, empathic concern, fantasy, prosocial behaviour).

Methods: Participants (N=123) responded to an advert on social media. The online survey comprised a multidimensional (prose, film, theatre) task-based measure of fiction exposure, and questionnaire sets. Data were analysed using correlation and regression analyses, controlling for age, gender, English fluency and education.

Results: Results included the following significant positive correlations: theatre and prose exposure with prosocial behaviour and fantasy, film exposure with prosocial behaviour and perspective taking, and preference for comedy with all empathy measures. Fiction exposure predicted 17% of variability in prosocial behavior, however prose was the only significant contributor (β = .311).

Conclusions: The findings supported extant research linking fiction to empathic abilities, and indicated that associations between fiction media, genre and empathy diverge. They did not speak to causation, but suggested that (i) medium and genre are important areas for further inquiry into fiction effects, (ii) fiction-exposure paradigms could benefit from media and genre dimensions, (iii) prose and comedy may particularly hone empathic skills. Fiction is consumed via an increasing range of media; this study represents a step towards a comprehensive understanding of its social impact.

Official Website: https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/programme-now-available-bps-annual-conference-2017
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 3 May 2017
Event Location: Brighton, UK
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2020 14:54
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2020 14:54
Item ID: 15533
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15533

Repository Staff Only: item control page | University Staff: Request a correction