Transportation into a story increases empathy, prosocial behavior, and perceptual bias toward fearful expressions

  title={Transportation into a story increases empathy, prosocial behavior, and perceptual bias toward fearful expressions},
  author={Dan Richard Johnson},
  journal={Personality and Individual Differences},
  • D. Johnson
  • Published 2012
  • Psychology
  • Personality and Individual Differences

Reading other minds: Effects of literature on empathy

The potential of literature to increase empathy was investigated in an experiment. Participants (N = 100, 69 women) completed a package of questionnaires that measured lifelong exposure to fiction

The Relationship Between Empathy and Reading Fiction: Separate Roles for Cognitive and Affective Components

†Research suggests that both life-time experience of reading fiction and the extent to which a reader feels ‘transported’ by the narrative are associated with empathy. This study examined these


Research from different disciplines points to a positive relationship between reading fiction and empathy. Some studies also focus on potential moderators of this relationship, such as individual

Empathy and Narrative Transportation : fiction's Relationship to Empathy in Leaders

Empathy is an essential competence of ethical leadership. However, business leaders are more likely to display and value traits like narcissism than empathy at work. This has prompted a need to

Fiction Effects on Social Cognition: Varying Narrative Engagement with Cognitive Load

Social cognition, the skillset involved in interpreting the cognitive and affective states of others, is essential for navigating the social world. Research has indicated that reading about fictional

Relationships between fiction media, genre, and empathic abilities

Fiction enables readers to simulate the social experiences of characters and may facilitate prosociality. Research has indicated that fiction print exposure positively relates to empathy and may

Preaching to the Choir and Beyond

Do narratives about suffering enhance empathy? Readers experience empathy for story characters, but does that empathy spill over into the “real” world? We investigated whether a narrative in the

Reading suffering : an empirical inquiry into empathic and reflective responses to literary narratives

In this dissertation, I provide preliminary answers to four research questions concerning our relation to (literary) narratives about suffering: (I) What are readers’ motives to read about



The relation of empathy to prosocial and related behaviors.

Low to moderate positive relations generally were found between empathy and both prosocial behavior and cooperative/socially competent behavior and the method of assessing empathy did influence the strength of the relations.

Playing prosocial video games increases empathy and decreases schadenfreude.

Two studies revealed that playing a prosocial video game increased interpersonal empathy and decreased reported pleasure at another's misfortune (i.e., schadenfreude), lending further credence to the predictive validity of the General Learning Model for the effects of media exposure on social tendencies.

Accurate identification of fear facial expressions predicts prosocial behavior.

In 3 studies, the authors tested the prediction that individuals who recognize fear more accurately will behave more prosocially and accuracy for recognizing fear proved a better predictor of prosocial behavior than gender, mood, or scores on an empathy scale.

Empathy and the Novel

Does reading novels evoking empathy with fictional characters really cultivate our sympathetic imagination and lead to altruistic actions on behalf of real others? Empathy and the Novel presents a

Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach.

To facilitate a multidimensional approach to empathy the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) includes 4 subscales: Perspective-Taking (PT) Fantasy (FS) Empathic Concern (EC) and Personal Distress

Perspective Taking: Imagining How Another Feels Versus Imaging How You Would Feel

Although often confused, imagining how another feels and imagining how you would feel are two distinct forms of perspective taking with different emotional consequences. The former evokes empathy;

The role of transportation in the persuasiveness of public narratives.

A transportation scale was developed and validated, and studies showed that transportation and corresponding beliefs were generally unaffected by labeling a story as fact or as fiction.

The Function of Fiction is the Abstraction and Simulation of Social Experience

  • R. MarK. Oatley
  • Psychology, Art
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2008
It is argued that literary narratives have a more important purpose and offer models or simulations of the social world via abstraction, simplification, and compression, which facilitates the communication and understanding of social information and makes it more compelling, achieving a form of learning through experience.

The use of stories in moral development. New psychological reasons for an old education method.

  • P. Vitz
  • Psychology
    The American psychologist
  • 1990
It is proposed that narratives and narrative thinking are especially involved in how these processes lead to moral development and therefore that narrative should be rehabilitated as a valuable part of moral education.