Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thought you might be interested Thursday: Reading fiction is good for you

If You Want to Succeed in Business, Read More Novels author Erika Andersen advocates for reading novels as a way to succeed in business.   Andersen points to The Business Case for Reading Novels by Anne Kreamer in support of her belief.   Kreamer links to Fiction Hones Social Skills (paywall) by Keith Oatley, a cognitive psychologist, to "prove" that her endless fiction reading is not worthless.

So what does the research find?   Andersen's anecdotal experience was that executive clients "who only read non-fiction tend to be somewhat more two-dimensional in their perceptions of others and of situations; they seem to have fewer options to call upon when making decisions or solving problems."   Kreamer's review of the literature lead her to this statement: "fiction-reading activates neuronal pathways in the brain that measurably help the reader better understand real human emotion — improving his or her overall social skillfulness."

And what about Oately?   He writes (PDF) that reading novels is more than mere entertainment.   Rather, "novels, stories and dramas can help us understand the complexities of social life."

What are you waiting for?   Grab some fiction!

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