Effects of reading on knowledge, social abilities, and selfhood: Theory and empirical studies

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Reading exhibits a principle of expertise: the more one does it the more skilled one is likely to become both in the activity and in content knowledge. Our experiences with text lead to the acquisition of both vocabulary and general knowledge. Research from our group examines how reading can have other outcomes. With a starting point of fiction as an entryway into simulations of social interactions, we review empirical studies of how the reading of fiction can improve empathy and other social abilities, and prompt changes in personality.


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