Developing Empathy Through Fiction - Deepstash

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Developing Empathy Through Fiction

Imagining stories activates the particular regions inside our minds that facilitate better understanding of others and seeing our surroundings with a new perspective, equivalent to putting oneself in someone else's shoes.

When we read about a situation and how someone else is feeling, we create the feeling inside our minds.

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  • What may sound a bit counterintuitive, is that reading fiction can provide us with self-improvement benefits, even though the stuff we read would just be a figment of someone’s imagination.
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Fictional writings are diverse, uncertain and ambiguous. This leads to creating the ideal environment for creativity inside our minds. It decreases our need for cognitive closure, strengthening our mind.

Hearing a good story makes us remember information for a long period of time. Studies show that regular readers have better memory, and a 32 percent lower rate of mental decline.

With just six minutes of silent reading, a person can lower their heart rate and ease the tension in their muscles by about 68 percent.

Reading non-fiction before bed makes us project into the future, and increases our anxiety levels.

Reading fiction creates activity in the left temporal cortex region of the brain, which is associated with language.

Reading makes a large majority of people feel good, more satisfied with life.

Reading fictional tales with diverse characters makes a reader more tolerant and open-minded towards marginalized groups.

Reading fiction can help us explore many ideas of complex emotions, change and other unknown factors that are missing from our lives.

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