Study: Reading novels makes us better thinkers
Are you uncomfortable with ambiguity? It’s a common condition, but a highly problematic one. The compulsion to quell that unease can inspire snap judgments, rigid thinking, and bad decision-making. Fortunately, new research suggests a simple anecdote for this affliction: Read more literary fiction. A trio of University of Toronto scholars, led by psychologist Maja Djikic, report that people who have just read a short story have less need for what psychologists call “cognitive closure.” “Exposure to literature,” the researchers write in the Creativity Research Journal, “may offer a (way for people) to become more likely to open their minds.” Djikic and her colleagues describe an experiment featuring 100 University of Toronto students. Afterwards, each participant filled out a survey measuring their emotional need for certainty and stability. Those who read a short story had significantly lower scores on that test than those who read an essay.
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