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The Exposure to Literary Fiction Makes Individuals More Empathetic, Fact or Fiction

Sutton, Nicole (2021) The Exposure to Literary Fiction Makes Individuals More Empathetic, Fact or Fiction. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Empathy is highly valued in society due to its many benefits, including the promotion of prosocial behaviour and previous literature have found a relationship between literary fiction exposure and empathy. The current study aimed to examine and expand upon the relationship between literary fiction and empathy. Two hypostheses and one research question were formed from reviewing the previous literature. The first hypothesis was that fiction exposure would be a positive predictor of empathy levels in individuals. The second hypothesis proposed that females would report higher levels of empathy than males and lastly, the research question queried whether an individual’s regulairty of reading literary fiction would have an impact on empathy levels. A total of 609 participants were recruited through social media sites using convenience sampling. Participants completed online versions of the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) and an updated and revised version of the Author Recognition Test (ART). Participants also self reported their average weekly reading hours. Results from a multiple regression analysis reported that fiction exposure did not predict empathy levels. However, regularity of reading was found to be a significant predictor of empathy levels. Females also reported higher levels of empathy than males. These results highlight the importance of individuals reading literary fiction regularly.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Emotions
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2021 10:13
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 15:49
URI: http://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/4971

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