Chapter 2. Learning from literature

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This chapter explores what learning from literature entails and how we can come to insights about what literature can mean in the lives of readers, what they may discover about themselves and others. Reading literary stories leads to higher scores on standardized tests for social skills (e.g., ‘reading’ other peoples’ minds) than reading non-literary stories (Kidd & Castano, 2013). The available research, however, does not inform us about what causes these effects, relevant knowledge for a variety of social contexts, including literary education and social competence trainings (e.g., for managers). We explore the methodological possibilities and limitations to test our assumptions about relevant factors, conducting interdisciplinary research by combining insights of the Humanities in textual processes with the methodological rigor of the Social Sciences.


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