Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-4372
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4380
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We present two experiments examining the effects of reading narrative fiction ( narrative non-fiction expository non-fiction) on social and moral cognition, using a battery of self-report, explicit and implicit indicators. Experiment 1 ( = 340) implemented a pre-registered, randomized between-groups design, and assessed multiple outcomes after a short reading assignment. Results failed to reveal any differences between the three reading conditions on either social or moral cognition. Experiment 2 employed a longitudinal design.  = 104 participants were randomly assigned to read an entire book over seven days. Outcome variables were assessed before and after the reading assignment as well as at a one-week follow-up. Results did not show any differential development between the three reading conditions over time. The present results do not support the claim that reading narrative fiction is apt to improve our general social and moral cognition.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): empathy; fiction; morality; narrative; social cognition
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