A new study suggests that the type of books you choose to read can have a huge impact on your emotional intelligence.

The report – which featured in the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts and tested 1,000 participants – found that there was a severe difference between people who favoured 'literary fiction' over 'genre fiction'.

"Results indicate that exposure to literary but not genre fiction positively predicts performance on a test of theory of mind, even when accounting for demographic variables including age, gender, educational attainment," the paper explained. "We propose that these findings emerge because the implied (rather than explicit) socio-cognitive complexity, or roundness of characters, in literary fiction prompts readers to make, adjust, and consider multiple interpretations of characters' mental states."

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The study went on to explain that this does not mean that reading popular genre fiction cannot be beneficial in other ways, but simply that, "the broad complexity between relative complex literary and relatively formulaic genre fiction can help us better understand how engaging with fiction affects how we think."


What do you think?