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Posts uit januari, 2018 tonen

A Replication with a Wrinkle

A number of years ago, my colleagues Peter Verkoeijen, Katinka Dijkstra, several undergraduate students, and I conducted a replication of Experiment 5 of Kidd & Castano (2013). In that study, published in Science,  participants were exposed to an excerpt from either literary fiction or from non-literary fiction. Kidd and Castano hypothesized that brief exposure to literary fiction as opposed to non-literary fiction would enhance empathy in people because of the greater psychological finesse in literary novels than in non-literary novels. Anyone who has read, say, Proust as well as Michael Crichton will probably intuit what Kidd and Castano were getting at. Their results showed indeed that people who had been briefly exposed to the literary excerpt showed more empathy in Theory of Mind (ToM) tests than participants who had been briefly exposed to the non-literary excerpt. Because the study touches on some of our own interests, text comprehension, literature, empathy and becaus