Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Proof! Reading fiction makes you smarter!
I've argued sometimes with friends who think novel-reading is a waste of time that reading makes you more empathetic. People who can't imagine how someone else feels on their own, or in a social situation, CAN when they read a novel, in which all the clues are laid out for them.
Now there is scientific proof that this is so! In fact, some social scientists have gone father and said that reading fiction makes you smarter.
readingfiction makes you smarter (STAR)
reading fiction hones social skills (SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND)
Also too (as Sara Palin would say), great artists have great insight -- even Freud said that his theories had been known to "great artists" for hundreds of years. Do you remember the scene in Emma in which Mr.Woodhouse keeps telling his son-in-law what his, Mr. Woodhouses's, doctor thinks the son-in-law should have done -- until finally Mr.Knightley loses his temper?
Jane Austen then says that Mr.Woodhouse had been "unconsciously attributing his own feelings" to the doctor.
Though it's true that Jane Austen also once described somebody reading "the sort of novel that makes people think reading novels is a waste of time."
So maybe it has to be a good book for the magic (or science) to work?