Introduction

In modern academic libraries that are increasingly budget- and space-conscious, the focus of the collection is naturally on the scholarly materials that inform student and faculty’s topics of research. However, many libraries also provide recreational “leisure” collections on their campuses, and indeed, the professional literature has recommended such collections for years.1 In general, such materials are considered to promote relaxation, stress relief, a knowledge of more current events, and a sense of empathy.2

That reading novels encourages empathy would seem to be obvious, especially among librarians whose lives are dedicated to books and to reading. Yet, does the research actually prove this? Another critical question is: does increasing empathy really play a key role in students’ future personal and working lives? In other words, is there research that suggests that a strong sense of empathy matters in the workplace and in adult interpersonal relationships? Is it possible to use fiction to increase the empathy of readers?

Empathy is generally considered to be the ability to understand a situation from another person’s point of view, or even to “feel their pain.” Not to empathize with someone is equated with selfishness or ignoring the needs of those around one.3 Empathy is also popularly considered a key trait in adept leaders and managers, and it is linked to greater abilities to feel compassion and to solve problems creatively.4

The scientific study of empathy is closely related to the investigations on Theory of Mind. 5 First developed more than thirty years ago, this theory is based on the concept that one person has an understanding of the emotions, thoughts and beliefs of another person. For example, Anna (Person A) knows that Brian (Person B) thinks, feels, and perceives the world around him differently than she does, and therefore their interactions are informed and influenced by that knowledge.6 In the words of popular author Neil Gaiman, Anna learns that Brian “is a me, too.”7

…There is a growing body of evidence that (while reading fiction): transportation, identification, and perception may be part of an integral process that allows accompanying feelings to have lasting effects on the reader.

Fiction, on the other hand, allows the reader to actually experience the world from another person’s point of view.8 How many times have librarians heard the phrases “getting lost in a good book,” “fell in love with the characters,” and even “cried buckets at the ending?” Such is the relationship between readers and their favorite books. There is a growing body of evidence that transportation, identification, and perception may actually be part of an integral process that allows these feelings to have lasting effects on the reader.

Fiction has been shown to affect the thought processes and actual cognitive patterns of readers.9 Professors have used novels as a way to increase students’ empathetic responses.10 11 While some research indicates that readers of literary fiction have better outcomes in the rate of increase,12 other research suggests that even popular genre fiction can engender lasting changes in readers’ attitudes, opinions and empathetic reactions.13 14 There is a positive correlation between reading fiction and the increase in a comparison of the various subscales of empathy with their fictive counterparts.15

However, many of these studies are from disparate disciplines: psychology, neuroscience, literature, etc. A synthesis of the studies and further discussion would be useful for the library professional, especially one who needs to justify the dedication of limited space and financial resources to a “leisure” collection. If the simple act of reading fiction, let alone studying it, can lead to such positive lifelong and workplace gains, then the necessity for such collections, and for their careful curation, declares itself.

Empathy

The word empathy first entered into the English lexicon in 1909, when an eminent psychologist, Edward Titchener, wanted to translate the German word Einfühlung.16 Today, the American Psychological Association defines empathy as “understanding a person from his or her own frame of reference rather than one’s own, or vicariously experiencing that person’s feelings, perceptions, and thoughts.”17

Empathy encompasses one of the four key aspects of emotional intelligence and is considered predictive of a person’s ability to achieve success in and out of the workplace.18 Numerous aphorisms and proverbs center around “walking a mile in another person’s moccasins” or seeing something from someone else’s point of view. A deficit in empathy is also one of the hallmarks of schizophrenia and some of the Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as antisocial tendencies such as narcissism.19 20

Intuitively, one may feel that empathy has a great influence on student behavior in and out of the classroom. Children with stronger affective empathic characteristics are more likely to defend classmates from being bullied.21 People with low empathy skills frequently evince aggression.22 Students who display less aggression are sometimes considered as more cooperative and less disruptive.23 Lower rates of aggression, in turn, should theoretically lead to better learning outcomes.

…while empathy itself may not always be valued as a leadership trait, characteristics affected by a higher degree of empathy, such as conflict resolution, teamwork, and collaboration are prized.

Once a person enters the workplace, empathy has an even greater effect. The person with greater empathy is more likely to have stronger conflict resolution skills.24 This, coupled with the less aggressive and more cooperative tendencies, makes those with greater empathy skills more likely to work better within a team.25 Additionally, while empathy itself may not always be valued highly as a leadership trait, those characteristics that are directly affected by a higher degree of empathy, such as conflict resolution, teamwork, and collaboration are prized.26 27

Many recent leadership studies have focused on the so-called “psychopaths” in modern leadership. One quick search in the EBSCO host research literature databases on the psychopathic tendencies in leadership yielded more than 1,500 articles in academic journals. A defining trait of a psychopath is the inability to feel empathy for someone else, and those with such “dark traits” of leadership can seriously harm their institutions, especially those under governmental management, regulation or control.28 29 Indeed, research in the past decade suggests that such destructive leadership tendencies result in mediocrity.30 They also contribute to workplace disruptions, communication issues, and alienated employees.31

Empathy can be identified as one of the traits essential in an effective leader. It is also one that can be learned by a variety of methods. Unfortunately, many students demonstrate poor empathy skills.32 Researchers in 2008 discovered a marked rise in narcissism among college students between 1979 – 2009.33 34 This ego-centrism is typified by anti-social behaviors, among which is “the inability to empathize with the feelings of others.”35

Over the past thirty years, several of the measurable scales of empathy in college students have shown radical decline.36 Volunteerism has declined, although a recent spike in teen volunteerism can possibly be explained by high schools requiring community service and college admission teams preferring candidates with volunteer experience. Use of individualistic words and phrases in American popular literature have demonstrably increased in books published between 1960 and 2008,37 and, while empathy may increase in middle-aged adults (those between 50-60 years old), a study in 2013 found that students in 2010 had a much lower concern for other people than their counterparts only ten years earlier.38 Bullying has increased, as have acts of violence against marginalized sub-groups like the homeless, persons of color, and those who are perceived as LGBTQ.39

Technology and social media have also possibly led to an increase in distractedness but a sharp decrease in pro-social actions.40 Researchers at the University of Maryland have posited that an increased use of cell phones has encouraged users to choose to interact with virtual companions rather than real ones; this in turn has a detrimental effect on such pro-social behaviors as volunteerism and human concern.41 While these are not specifically attributed to empathy, they are indications of declining empathic behaviors.

In response to this ebbing tide, recent initiatives have been explored to create classes specifically geared to improving empathy. These classes tend to focus on arts training: music,42 drawing,43 acting,44 writing and literature. These all, in their individual ways, rely on narrative devices to draw the participant/creator – musician, actor, author or reader – into the tale and thereby into the “skin” of someone else.

Theory of Mind

At the same time that empathy rates seem to have dropped, by nearly 50% since 1979,45 researchers in the behavioral and neurological sciences are recognizing the critical role that empathy plays in balanced human developments and the proper growth of the mind. This issue needs to be addressed, and mechanisms need to be developed to improve adults’ abilities to understand and to relate to those around them.

…Theory of Mind is a psychological concept that describes how people understand those around them.

Theory of Mind is a psychological concept that describes how people understand those around them. The realization that someone else approaches problems and issues from a different perspective, with different experiences, and different emotions develops into a sophisticated psychological construct that allows humans to relate to each other as distinct individuals.46 Empathy comprises two separate areas of Theory of Mind. One area, the Cognitive Theory of Mind, describes how people infer beliefs, mental states and general thoughts and intentions. How they infer emotions and feelings is considered the Affective Theory of Mind.47

Empathy is generally measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index,48 which breaks the trait into four distinct subscales. Perspective Taking is the ability to see things from another person’s point of view. Empathic Concern involves an individual’s reactions to someone else’s misfortunes or negative experiences. Personal Distress is the measure of physical response to someone else’s pain. Finally, the Fantasy Subscale measures a person’s emotional responses to the characters in a story, play, film, or other similar media.49

…functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) shows the brain has reacted to emotional stimuli based on fictional stories in the same way that it does for directly observed events...

For example, if Anna tells Brian that her mother has died, Brian takes perspective by understanding that Anna is sad and will be grieving. If he gives her an opportunity to tell stories and talk about her mother and her grief, he is demonstrating empathic concern. If he begins to be teary-eyed himself as she begins to cry, he is feeling personal distress as he observes her mourning. Creating the imagery or conceptualization of these interpretations is known as mentalizing. However if Brian experiences any of these emotional responses to a fictional story about someone named Anna, then he experiences a reaction on the fantasy subscale. Research is beginning to suggest that empathic responses based on fictional stories are fundamentally similar to those based on real events.50 In fact, functional magnetic resonance imaging(fMRI) shows the brain has reacted to emotional stimuli based on fictional stories in the same way that it does for directly observed events, highlighting the importance of the Fantasy Subscale in determining real-world empathic behaviors.51

How Reading Affects the Mind

Transportation

Considering these findings, then, does reading fiction actually affect the mind? A reader enthusing about a well-loved novel frequently uses phrases like “it made me think” or “it made me cry.” In an interview with Marilynne Robinson – (one his favorite authors), – Barack Obama attributes some of the greatest lessons in his life to his habit of reading fiction.

“When I think about how I understand my roles as a citizen, setting aside being president, and the most important set of understandings that I bring to that position of citizen, the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notions that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.”52

Similarly, Neil Gaiman, in an address given to the Reading Agency in 2013, describes at length his feeling that reading fiction directly influences a person’s understanding of other people and the world around them. In effect, Gaiman believes that reading literature improves empathy and the reader’s Theory of Mind.

“You get to feel things, visit places you would never otherwise know. You get to learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed.”53

Nor are they the only ones who popularly assume this connection to reading novels and empathy. To the reader, to the author, to the librarian, this idea simply feels right. But, is it? What actually happens in the mind that causes this transportation, or the sense of seeing through another’s eyes? More importantly, does the identification one feels with the characters remain after the story is told and does it appreciably affect the reader’s empathy skills?

When readers become fully engaged in novels, they feel as if they are in the thick of the action (transportation) and as if they have actually become the characters (identification).54 They lose their sense of self-awareness as they identify more with the action and setting of the story.55 Narrative transportation fuses several psychological factors – imagination, emotions, and concentration – which allow the reader to react to the story as if it were real. This happens even when the reader realizes the work is fiction, and it allows for behavior and belief systems to be substantively affected after the story is finished.56

How much this affects empathy is related to how deeply the reader is transported into the story. Bal and Veltkamp57 explored whether reading fiction made a deeper impact than non-fiction. They also studied whether the demonstrated increase in empathy remained over time. Even people with low empathy skills have found it easier to be transported into fictional stories.58

Since the transportation into a fictional world requires the willing suspension of disbelief, the reader is more likely to allow the emotional manipulations to occur. When this happens, readers report an increase in their general empathy skills. However, when they do not experience transportation, their empathy skills actually decrease. This is not an immediate response: but it builds over time.59

When one reads non-fiction, the results are very different. When there is no experience of transportation, the reader’s empathy neither increases nor decreases.60 61 However, for readers who are thoroughly engaged in the selection, then their skills actually decrease.62 Bal and Veltkamp suggest that perhaps this is because when reading non-fiction, they must make a conscious effort to change their beliefs under the effects of the transportation stimuli, while it happens naturally when fiction readers willingly suspend their disbelief.63

A reader is not transported solely through more esoteric “literary” fiction. Popular fiction also causes effective transportation, and has “positive correlations with interpersonal sensitivity.”64 Novels depicting strong relationships, such as romance fiction, have the best response, perhaps because most everyone has personal experience with such relationships. That immediate kinship with a character may help readers immerse themselves more completely.65

Identification

Transportation to the setting is not the only cognitive or emotional process affected by reading. Identification with characters within the story also takes place, which has a direct effect on a reader’s empathy. This can be described as a process of the imagination, a “transient experience” where readers perceive themselves as becoming the characters, feeling the same emotions relating to their situations and subscribing, at least temporarily, with their worldviews.66 When readers like and identify with specific characters, then they are more likely to allow their internal beliefs, prejudices, and resulting actions to grow or be transformed into something more similar or beneficial to the character.67 They become more aware of their own emotions, and then may use that knowledge to expand their awareness of, and care for, others needs around them.68

Identification processes are related to Theory of Mind and are located in the same areas of the brain. The mirror neurons that allow the emotionally evocative responses experienced in transportation also play a key role in a reader’s facility in identifying with a fictional character. Even when neither the situation nor the individual is real, a reader’s clearly defined mental image of the thoughts, feelings, and physical and emotional responses (mentalizing) activates the cortex as if the event actually took place,69 albeit it to a somewhat lesser intensity.70

The process of identification encompasses all aspects of narrative characterization, from the name of the character, to his background, thoughts, beliefs and resulting actions.71 Readers, once transported into the novel, create a relationship with the characters, inferring their motivations and imagining themselves as one of the principal characters.72 This identification can be manipulated through guided reading and questioning, and if the text “create[s] a closer aesthetic distance” using literary perspective and grammatical tenses, then the identification becomes deeper and more intense.73

Other genres also provide opportunities for identification, as long as the narratives include entry points for readers to fully associate themselves with main characters. A study conducted at the University of Buffalo showed that undergraduate students who read excerpts from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone closely identified themselves with traits embodied by the wizards; similarly the students who read excerpts from Breaking Dawn, the last novel in the Twilight series, identified more closely with traits similar to the vampires.74

…what affects the empathic growth seems to be the completeness of the imagery and identification with the characters and their experiences.

Researchers at Washington and Lee University found that the imagery that readers create encourage empathy and will even affect future “pro-social” behavior. It doesn’t really matter whether the novel in question is popular or literary; what affects the empathic growth seems to be the completeness of the imagery and identification with the characters and their experiences. Therefore, training readers to enhance their abilities in envisioning what they read should help to increase the strength of their empathy.75

Identification and transportation affect the hippocampus, and several specific areas of the cortex of the brain.76 77 These are the same areas where most Theory of Mind neural responses to real, observed stimuli are activated.78 The fMRI measurements examining the correlation between the identification with fictional characters, the fantasy trait, and the Fictive Subscale of the Theory of Mind suggest a strong relationship between empathy and the reading of fiction.79

The fMRI shows that a person observes an action, then something fires in the brain (mirror neurons) and allows that person to experience the action as if he or she had personally done it.80 This happens whether the action is actually observed, or simply imagined, described, or even heard. However, in general, people do not physically carry out those actions that occur only in their imaginations.81 Although, this may explain why, anecdotally, if a character is described as “running her fingers through her hair,” several readers have acknowledged that they, in turn, would touch their hair.

These mirror neurons help to explain how the mind reacts when one is transported into a novel. People process the descriptions differently, as well, based on their individual preferences. In a study investigating how the brain uses mirror neurons to respond to narrative fiction, an MRI machine was used to measure stimuli in the mentalizing and action or motor regions of eighteen participants.82 Study participants listened to short selections between four and eight minutes each from four different novels. The regions of the brain most activated depended on whether the participant mainly focused on the thoughts/beliefs of a character or on the actions performed. However, the results suggested that these were simply preferences, and that all of the participants experienced “robust group-level activations” in that part of the brain that housed Theory of Mind tasks.83

Permanent Changes in Perception

Finally, when a reader willingly suspends belief and allows transportation and identification to occur, then his or her perceptions of the world become more malleable.84 While this could allow belief structures to evolve substantively, it could also provide the opportunity for the reader to use the novel as an emotional catharsis while changing nothing permanently in the reader’s worldview.85

After all, even that great manipulator of emotions and heartstrings, Charles Dickens, acknowledged that some of his readers would revel in the emotional sentimentality involved with his poverty-stricken waifs while ignoring the real, living, working poor in their midst.86 He even created a character in Bleak House lampooning such a person – Harold Skimpole. His writings, therefore, frequently included exhortations to his readers that while they couldn’t help the fictional characters, they could help those who lived near them.87

Investigations of students suggest that at least some modern readers are indelibly changed by what they read. One class read Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abdullah, a story focused on a central character with whom the students could easily identify, but for whom life was radically different. Post-exposure testing showed that the novel shifted the racial prejudices of its tested readers.88 These results are similar to those found by the Harry Potter/Twilight study conducted by Gabriel and Young.89

…Group discussion of literary texts that explore a given issue may be the most effective method for engaging with reading to encourage perspective changes and increase empathy.

Recent research into the effects that popular novels have on attitudes towards race, ethnicity, homosexuality, and refugees suggests that fiction can indeed be a positive force for addressing social issues and concerns. 90 91 92 Granted, in all of the studies except one,93 there was also a discussion element to the experiments; nevertheless, in those cases, discussion centered on how the narrative elicited wider empathy towards marginalized groups.94 95

Why was discussion needed to improve empathy in the readers? Perhaps it was simply the way the experiments were structured. One study worked with children, teens and adults with the Harry Potter books, and it used discussion as a primary method of eliciting opinions from the group specifically about the fictional situations chosen. Afterwards, the subjects were asked how they felt about larger groups.96 The other study analyzed the television discussion and online posts about selections from Oprah Winfrey’s popular book group.97

Another possibility, however, could have been simply the choice of novel. Literary fiction, by its nature, often causes more reflection and situational discomfort than faster-paced genre fiction. The “polyphonic” nature of the text (originally so described by Mikhail Bakhtin and repeated by Kidd and Castano98) requires readers to exercise more of their minds and engage more of their personal experiences and perspective taking than the average best-selling popular novel. The results of a series of five experiments testing literary fiction with popular fiction and narrative non-fiction texts, and involving no discussions, suggest that only literary fiction has a material effect on emotional Theory of Mind.99 On the other hand, the selection of literary texts was held to much more rigorous standards than the selection of popular texts, including both the amount of text and its difficulty.100

The Kidd and Castano experiments were recently replicated at the University of L’Aquila, and their results were further validated.101 However, several other researchers also attempting to replicate the original study found much less success. They found that using one short passage of text was not enough to cause a demonstrable change in a person’s Theory of Mind, and they argued that there may be no demonstrable difference between reading literary and popular fiction. The scores that measured the long-term effects of reading fiction suggested that perhaps “reading fiction strengthen[ed] theory of mind skills over time.”102 They also considered the possibility that a reader with a strong Theory of Mind would be more likely to select fiction to read.103

Using Fiction to Increase Empathy

Empathy is a trait that can be strengthened and increased, and several disciplines have begun to use fiction reading as a part of such training. Skill building can be generally affected through targeted reading and discussion.

One social worker / counselor practicum class used the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, as a vehicle for improvement. The students were asked to read the whole book. Then, a portion of several class times was devoted to discussing the book and how its characterizations affected how the students saw their clients.104

This process took the entire semester, and was conducted through online and in-class discussions. Students were guided to deconstruct the novel’s innate symbolism and to make inferences about the text and themselves. By the midpoint, they identified with the main character (Harry) and were actively and independently using the framework of the story when discussing their real-world internship experiences.105

Another activity that uses fiction to train empathy could be adapted from a mirror neuron film activity designed by a team of researchers from Arizona State University to “give rise to ‘simulations’ or ‘videos’ that … play in students’ brains.”106 They suggest using video clips with a class, where students are divided into three groups. One watches/listens to the clip, another watches, listens and mimics the action, and the thirds just listens, rather than watches.107

Nijhof and Willems showed that listening to fiction had a similar transportation effect to visual reading.108 Therefore, rather than using a video, the activity could involve listening to an audio version of a short story, and listening while repeating the actions heard. This would stimulate the mirror neurons involved both in the cognitive and affective aspects of empathy, rather than just the cognitive aspects usually activated.109

In an Interpersonal Communications Skills course, students read a choice of narrative non-fiction or fiction work, and then used their books as springboards for online discussions. Most of the early responses seemed in the realm of perspective taking and building insight into the motivations of people different to them. However, as the semester continued, students were guided to identify with the main character and to interpret the world from the character’s point of view. The instructor, however, suggests that had she required her students to read only fiction, then they may have been provided an even “more ‘true-to-life’ appreciation of life’s journeys.”110

Using a fictional story corresponds with the findings that people who are low empathizers respond better to stories that they know are not true. They found it easier “to relax their emotional norms,” which, in turn, made transportation into the storyline easier.111 Popular narrative non-fiction is also not usually written about things that end unhappily or sadly; the main characters are more likely to view even their failures with emotional distance,112 and, therefore, the readers often do, as well.

Another method to use fiction to enhance empathy is to have the students themselves create it. Third year medical students in England’s Manchester Medical School were given the opportunity to write a short story during a four-week elective course. Each main character dealt with the day-to-day reality of suffering from a life-changing disorder, and the entire story needed to revolve around that point-of-view.113

This “writerly” approach requires the student to understand more deeply the motivations of someone very different from themselves. It engaged their empathy in a similar fashion, as would literary fiction.114 Students found that after the process of creating their characters, they had a much better understanding of how someone with a chronic, life-altering disorder views the world differently than a healthy person.115

Each of these examples involves students interacting in real ways with the narrative. Students need to be guided into identification with the text, which in turn leads to the transportation into the story. Discussion seems to be a critical component in all of the practical studies, as this helps the students to articulate their emotions. As this occurred, their world views begin to change.

Practical Applications for Academic Libraries

Finding ways to help people interact and internalize what they read has traditionally been a core value for librarians. Just because the person is a student in a college does not obviate the informational need. The academic librarian can address it through reader’s advisory, recommendations, and the facilitation of book groups.116 Indeed, far from removing popular fiction from academic collections, consideration should be given to developing focused departmental novel selections and discussions. Activities that promote the mentalizing and transportation of students into novels should be encouraged. Further study into such programs and events that promote reading should be explored, and the “leisure” collections within the library can be associated with the various disciplines through finding aids and other similar resources.

Simply providing the fiction collection is not enough, of course. It should be organized in a way familiar to the student, and perhaps even be separate from the main research collection. Booklists and pathfinders can be developed to aid in discovery, and staff should be trained to perform reader’s advisory for popular novels, as well as for the more traditional research generally performed. In some libraries, staff were concerned about the amount of additional time and work that such collections and services demand, and such must be addressed in planning.117

Once a good leisure reading collection is developed, the problem shifts to encouraging students who seem to be already stressed by deadlines and distracted by other activities to read outside of class work. Targeted creative writing initiatives may be one way to engage readers while encouraging empathy.118 119 Given the studies involving the use of acting120 and art121 to improve empathy, perhaps libraries could also sponsor programs where students adapt short stories into graphic novels or skits.

Book discussion groups, as mentioned above, can be another method that librarians could use to help readers draw the most benefit from the novels they read. Through the targeted questions, students can be encouraged to recognize and distill the moments of transportation and character identification. This, in turn, would help to crystallize the lesson and cement the novel’s empathic punch.122 123

Perhaps college librarians can also find other ideas from other types of libraries. Materials need to be easy to find, with adequate and obvious signage and targeted display.124 Themed activities and seasonal events, similar to those popular in public libraries, could serve to draw students into the library and to get books into their hands, then to initiate one-on-one discussions about the novels.

Students at one small college offered other concrete suggestions.125 Special events and prizes for the number of titles read was a popular suggestion. Changing circulation policies to allow for longer loans was mentioned both by students and the library staff. Reading in general was recognized as a core function of all libraries, academic ones included, and as such needed to be promoted more actively through publications as well: blogs, student recommendations and even book reviews in the student newspaper.

Finally, discipline-specific discussion can help students to develop empathy skills. This, once they have graduated into the working world, will empower them to achieve a clearer ability to understand their clients’ or their customers’ worldviews, as well as work more smoothly within a team of co-workers. This will enable them to be better employees and more successful in their careers.

Conclusions

The ability to see issues from another’s point of view is critical in the modern world. Whether in the classroom, the living room or the boardroom, empathy is one of those soft skills that grease social interactions and facilitate working relationships. Also, in the classroom, students are less likely to disrupt learning and are more likely to focus on their tasks when they (and their instructors!) have greater empathy for others.

For this reason, fiction collections need to remain a core in all libraries, even in those dedicated to more scholarly communities. While the ultimate purpose of a college education is a highly debatable topic, the ability to understand our fellow humans should be seen as a critical goal. Novels provide readers with so much more than just a way to pass the time.

Fiction, by its nature, promotes empathy, especially in those with average skills. Those with low empathy, those with some autistic tendencies, and those with antisocial behavior may need special guidance in mentalizing stories. However, this can be facilitated through discussions and other activities to build their skills in empathy and Theory of Mind.

Empathy affects most areas of life, and is a building block for pro-social behaviors. It is an essential ingredient in any endeavor that requires teamwork, and it helps to keep interpersonal relationships running smoothly. Since reading popular fiction can help improve a person’s empathic concern, it stands to reason that college libraries should collect it, promote it, and facilitate opportunities for students and faculty to enjoy it together.


Dora Byrd Rowe (drowe@upsem.edu), is the Instructional Services Librarian and the Director of the Instructional Resource Center at William S. Morton Library at Union Presbyterian Seminary. She graduated from the College of William and Mary (BA, History and Medieval/Renaissance Studies) and Texas Woman’s University (MLS, Library Science). Her recent interests include methods of combating aliteracy on college campuses and the neurological processes involved with reading and its correlation to empathy. She is currently focusing her research on the intersection of empathy training, literature, and theology.

Received: August 30, 2016
Accepted: January 27, 2017
Published: July 23, 2018

Copyright:
©Author: Dora Byrd Rowe. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source.


Notes

1 Watson, Erin M. 2014. "Leisure reading collections in academic health sciences and science libraries: results of visits to seven libraries." Health Information & Libraries Journal 31, no. 1: 20-31. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hir.12042.

2 Ibid.

3 Lucas, Marsha. 2010 “Empathy Leads You to Very Bad Decisions’ What?” Psychology Today, March 26. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rewire-your-brain-love/201003/empathy-leads-you-very-bad-decisions-what.

4 2010. "The Manager's Secret Weapon - Empathy." Nonprofit World 28, no. 5: 28.

5 Goldman, Alvin I. "Theory of Mind." In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. : Oxford University Press, 2012-01-18. http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195309799.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780195309799-e-17.

6 Pavarini, Gabriela, Debora Hollanda Souza, and Carol Hawk. 2013. "Parental Practices and Theory of Mind Development." Journal Of Child & Family Studies 22, no. 6: 844-853. . https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10826-012-9643-8

7 Gaiman, Neil. 2016. “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming: The Reading Agency Lecture, 2013.” In The View From the Cheap Seats. New York: William Morrow. Printed in the Guardian, October 15, 2013:https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming

8 Bal, P. Matthijs, and MartijnVeltkamp. 2013. "How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation." Plos ONE 8, no. 1: 1-12.https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

9 Nomura, Kohei, and Seiki Akai. 2012. "Empathy With Fictional Stories: Reconsideration Of The Fantasy Scale Of The Interpersonal Reactivity Index." Psychological Reports 110, no. 1: 304-314.https://dx.doi/10.2466/02.07.09.11.PR0.110.1.304-314

10 Gibson, Donna M. 2007. "Empathizing With Harry Potter: The Use of Popular Literature in Counselor Education." Journal Of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development 46, no. 2: 197-210. https://dx.doi/10.1002/j.2161-1939.2007.tb00036.

11 Turner, Linda M. 2013. "Encouraging Professional Growth among Social Work Students through Literature Assignments: Narrative Literature's Capacity to Inspire Professional Growth and Empathy." British Journal Of Social Work 43, no. 5: 853-871.https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcs011

12 Kidd, David Comer and Emanuele Castano. 2013. “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind.” Science 342, no. 6156: 377-380,http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/377.

13 Davis, Kimberly Chabot. 2004. "Oprah's Book Club and the politics of cross-racial empathy." International Journal Of Cultural Studies 7, no. 4: 399.https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877904047861

14 Vezzali, Loris, Sofia Stathi, Dino Giovannini, Dora Capozza, and Elena Trifiletti. 2015. "The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice." Journal Of Applied Social Psychology no. 2: 105.https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12279.

15 Nomura, Kohei, and Seiki Akai. 2012. "Empathy With Fictional Stories: Reconsideration Of The Fantasy Scale Of The Interpersonal Reactivity Index." Psychological Reports 110, no. 1: 304-314.https://dx.doi.org/10.2466/02.07.09.11.PR0.110.1.304-314

16 Gallese, Vittorio. 2009. "Mirror Neurons, Embodied Simulation, and the Neural Basis of Social Identification." Psychoanalytic Dialogues 19, no. 5: 519-536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10481880903231910

17 VandenBos, Gary R. 2015 APA Dictionary of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

18 Eiser, Barbara J. A. 2011. "Emotional Intelligence: Why You Need It for Success." Pennsylvania CPA Journal 82, no. 1: 1-3.

19 Konrath, Sara H., Edward H. O'Brien, and Courtney Hsing. 2011. "Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis." Personality & Social Psychology Review (Sage Publications Inc.) 15, no. 2: 180-198. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1088868310377395

20 Pino, Maria Chiara, and Monica Mazza. 2016. "The Use of “Literary Fiction” to Promote Mentalizing Ability." Plos ONE 11, no. 8: 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160254

21 Caravita, Simona C. S., Paola di Blasio, and Christina Salmivalli. 2010. "Early Adolescents' Participation in Bullying: Is ToM Involved?." Journal Of Early Adolescence 30, no. 1: 138. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0272431609342983

22 Zeidner, Moshe, Gerald Matthews, and Richard D. Roberts. 2009. What We Know About Emotional Intelligence : How It Affects Learning, Work, Relationships, and Our Mental Health. Cambridge, Mass: A Bradford Book, 2009.

23 Shahzad, Shumaila, and SaimaMushtaq. 2014. "Does Students' Trait Emotional Intelligence Affect their Classroom Behavior." Journal Of Behavioural Sciences 24, no. 1: 71-84. http://search.proquest.com/openview/514cbf9c1bb47062451b4393564541b5

24 Zeidner, Moshe, Gerald Matthews, and Richard D. Roberts. 2009. What We Know About Emotional Intelligence : How It Affects Learning, Work, Relationships, and Our Mental Health. Cambridge, Mass: A Bradford Book, 2009.

25 Eiser, Barbara J. A. 2011. "Emotional Intelligence: Why You Need It for Success." Pennsylvania CPA Journal 82, no. 1: 1-3.

26 Holt, Svetlana, and Joan Marques. 2012. "Empathy in Leadership: Appropriate or Misplaced? An Empirical Study on a Topic that is Asking for Attention." Journal Of Business Ethics 105, no. 1: 95-105. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0951-5

27 Dolby, Nadine. 2013. "The Decline of Empathy and the Future of Liberal Education." Liberal Education 99, no. 2: 60. http://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/decline-empathy-and-future-liberal-education

28 Bonn, Scott A. 2014. “How to Tell a Sociopath From a Psychopath” Psychology Today January 22.

29 Perry, Chad. 2015. "The "Dark Traits" of Sociopathic Leaders: Could They Be a Threat to Universities?." Australian Universities' Review 57, no. 1: 17-25. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1053525

30 Ibid.

31 Holt, Svetlana, and Joan Marques. 2012. "Empathy in Leadership: Appropriate or Misplaced? An Empirical Study on a Topic that is Asking for Attention." Journal Of Business Ethics 105, no. 1: 95-105. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0951-5

32 Ibid.

33 Twenge, Jean M., Sara Konrath, Joshua D. Foster, W. Keith Campbell, and Brad J. Bushman. "Egos inflating over time: a cross‐temporal meta‐analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory." Journal of personality 76, no. 4 (2008): 875-902. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00507.x

34 Twenge, Jean M. and Joshua D. Foster. 2010. “Birth cohort increases in narcissitic personality traists among American college students, 1982-2009,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 1, no. 1: 99-106. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550609355719

35 VandenBos, Gary R. 2015 APA Dictionary of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

36 Konrath, Sara H., Edward H. O'Brien, and Courtney Hsing. 2011. "Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis." Personality & Social Psychology Review (Sage Publications Inc.) 15, no. 2: 180-198. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1088868310377395

37 Twenge, Jean M., W. Keith Campbell, and Brittany Gentile. 2012. “Increases in individualistic words and phrases in American books, 1960-2008.” PLoS ONE 7, no. 7. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0040181

38 O’Brien, Ed, Sara H. Konrath, Daniel Grühn, and Anna Linda Hagen. 2013. “Empathic concern and perspective taking: Linear and quadratic effects of age across the adult life span. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 68, no. 2: 168-175. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gbs055

39 Ibid.

40 Ibid.

41 Abraham, A., Anastasiya Pocheptsova, and Rosellina Ferraro. 2012. "The effect of mobile phone use on prosocial behavior." Manuscript in preparation. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anastasiya_Pocheptsova/publication/267687748_The_Effect_of_Mobile_Phone_Use_on_Prosocial_Behavior/links/5464f06d0cf25b85d17d2287.pdf

42 Laird, Lynda. 2015. "Empathy in the Classroom: Can Music Bring Us More in Tune with One Another?." Music Educators Journal 101, no. 4: 56-61. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0027432115572230.

43 Potash, Jordan, and Julie Chen. 2014. "Art-mediated peer-to-peer learning of empathy." Clinical Teacher 11, no. 5: 327-331. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tct.12157/full

44 Goldstein, Thalia R., and Ellen Winner. 2012. "Enhancing Empathy and Theory of Mind." Journal Of Cognition And Development 13, no. 1: 19-37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15248372.2011.573514

45 Konrath, Sara H., Edward H. O'Brien, and Courtney Hsing. 2011. "Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis." Personality & Social Psychology Review (Sage Publications Inc.) 15, no. 2: 180-198. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1088868310377395

46 Pavarini, Gabriela, Debora Hollanda Souza, and Carol Hawk. 2013. "Parental Practices and Theory of Mind Development." Journal Of Child & Family Studies 22, no. 6: 844-853.

47 Kidd, David Comer and Emanuele Castano. 2013. “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind.” Science 342, no. 6156: 377-380, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/377/.

48 Davis, Mark H. "Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach." Journal of personality and social psychology 44, no. 1 (1983): 113. http://psycnet.apa.org/record/1983-22418-001

49 Nomura, Kohei, and Seiki Akai. 2012. "Empathy with Fictional Stories: Reconsideration of the Fantasy Scale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index." Psychological Reports 110, no. 1: 304-314. https://dx.doi.org/10.2466/02.07.09.11.PR0.110.1.304-314

50 Ibid.

51 Cheetham, Marcus, Jürgen Hänggi, and Lutz Jancke. 2014. "Identifying with fictive characters: structural brain correlates of the personality trait 'fantasy'." Social Cognitive And Affective Neuroscience 9, no. 11: 1836-1844. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nst179

52 Obama, Barack and Marilynne Robinson. 2015. “President Obama &Marilynne Robinson: A Conversation – II” The New York Review of Books, November 19. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2015/11/19/president-obama-marilynne-robinson-conversation-2/

53 Gaiman, Neil. 2016. “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming: The Reading Agency Lecture, 2013.” In The View From the Cheap Seats. New York: William Morrow.

54 Green, Melanie C., and Jenna L. Clark. 2013. "Transportation into narrative worlds: implications for entertainment media influences on tobacco use." Addiction 108, no. 3: 477-484. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.04088.

55 Bal, P. Matthijs, and MartijnVeltkamp. 2013. "How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation." Plos ONE 8, no. 1: 1-12. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

56 Green, Melanie C., and Jenna L. Clark. 2013. "Transportation into narrative worlds: implications for entertainment media influences on tobacco use." Addiction 108, no. 3: 477-484. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.04088.x

57 Bal, P. Matthijs, and MartijnVeltkamp. 2013. "How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation." Plos ONE 8, no. 1: 1-12. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

58 Argo, Jennifer J., Zhu Rui (Juliet), and Darren W. Dahl. 2008. "Fact or Fiction: An Investigation of Empathy Differences in Response to Emotional Melodramatic Entertainment." Journal Of Consumer Research 34, no. 5: 614-623. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/521907

59 Bal, P. Matthijs, and MartijnVeltkamp. 2013. "How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation." Plos ONE 8, no. 1: 1-12. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

60 Ibid.

61 Pino, Maria Chiara, and Monica Mazza. 2016. "The Use of “Literary Fiction” to Promote Mentalizing Ability." Plos ONE 11, no. 8: 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160254

62 Bal, P. Matthijs, and MartijnVeltkamp. 2013. "How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation." Plos ONE 8, no. 1: 1-12. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

63 Ibid.

64 Fong, Katrina, Justin B. Mullin, and Raymond A. Mar. "What you read matters: The role of fiction genre in predicting interpersonal sensitivity." Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 7, no. 4 (2013): 370. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0034084

65 Carney, James, Rafael Wlodarski, and Robin Dunbar. "Inference or enaction? The impact of genre on the narrative processing of other minds." PloS one 9, no. 12 (2014): e114172. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0114172

66 Cheetham, Marcus, Jürgen Hänggi, and Lutz Jancke. 2014. "Identifying with fictive characters: structural brain correlates of the personality trait 'fantasy'." Social Cognitive And Affective Neuroscience 9, no. 11: 1836-1844. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nst179

67 Green, Melanie C., and Jenna L. Clark. 2013. "Transportation into narrative worlds: implications for entertainment media influences on tobacco use." Addiction 108, no. 3: 477-484. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.04088.x

68 Gibson, Donna M. 2007. "Empathizing With Harry Potter: The Use of Popular Literature in Counselor Education." Journal Of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development 46, no. 2: 197-210. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1939.2007.tb00036.x

69 Cheetham, Marcus, Jürgen Hänggi, and Lutz Jancke. 2014. "Identifying with fictive characters: structural brain correlates of the personality trait 'fantasy'." Social Cognitive And Affective Neuroscience 9, no. 11: 1836-1844. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nst179

70 Gallese, Vittorio. 2009. "Mirror Neurons, Embodied Simulation, and the Neural Basis of Social Identification." Psychoanalytic Dialogues 19, no. 5: 519-536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10481880903231910

71 Keen, Suzanne. 2006. "A theory of narrative empathy." Narrative no. 3: 207. http://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2006.0015

72 Mar, Raymond A., Keith Oatley, Maja Djikic, and Justin Mullin. 2011. "Emotion and narrative fiction: Interactive influences before, during, and after reading." Cognition & Emotion 25, no. 5: 818-833. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2010.515151

73 Ibid.

74 Gabriel, Shira, and Ariana F. Young. "Becoming a Vampire Without Being Bitten The Narrative Collective-Assimilation Hypothesis." Psychological Science 22, no. 8 (2011): 990-994. http://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611415541

75 Johnson, Dan R., Grace K. Cushman, Lauren A. Borden, and Madison S. McCune. "Potentiating empathic growth: Generating imagery while reading fiction increases empathy and prosocial behavior." Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 7, no. 3 (2013): 306. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0033261

76 Nijhof, Annabel D., and Roel M. Willems. 2015. "Simulating Fiction: Individual Differences in Literature Comprehension Revealed with fMRI." Plos ONE no. 2: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116492

77 Cheetham, Marcus, Jürgen Hänggi, and Lutz Jancke. 2014. "Identifying with fictive characters: structural brain correlates of the personality trait 'fantasy'." Social Cognitive And Affective Neuroscience 9, no. 11: 1836-1844. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nst179

78 Ibid.

79 Ibid.

80 Gallese, Vittorio. 2009. "Mirror Neurons, Embodied Simulation, and the Neural Basis of Social Identification." Psychoanalytic Dialogues 19, no. 5: 519-536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10481880903231910

81 Ibid.

82 Nijhof, Annabel D., and Roel M. Willems. 2015. "Simulating Fiction: Individual Differences in Literature Comprehension Revealed with fMRI." Plos ONE no. 2: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116492

83 Ibid.

84 Bal, P. Matthijs, and MartijnVeltkamp. 2013. "How Does Fiction Reading Influence Empathy? An Experimental Investigation on the Role of Emotional Transportation." Plos ONE 8, no. 1: 1-12. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

85 Davis, Kimberly Chabot. 2004. "Oprah's Book Club and the politics of cross-racial empathy." International Journal Of Cultural Studies 7, no. 4: 399. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877904047861

86 Harrison, Mary-Catherine. 2008. "The paradox of fiction and the ethics of empathy: reconceiving Dickens's realism." Narrative no. 3: 256. https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.0.0007

87 Ibid.

88 Johnson, Dan R., Brandie L. Huffman, and Danny M. Jasper. 2014. "Changing Race Boundary Perception by Reading Narrative Fiction." Basic & Applied Social Psychology 36, no. 1: 83-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2013.856791

89 Gabriel, Shira, and Ariana F. Young. "Becoming a Vampire Without Being Bitten The Narrative Collective-Assimilation Hypothesis." Psychological Science 22, no. 8 (2011): 990-994. http://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611415541

90 Davis, Kimberly Chabot. 2004. "Oprah's Book Club and the politics of cross-racial empathy." International Journal Of Cultural Studies 7, no. 4: 399. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877904047861

91 Vezzali, Loris, Sofia Stathi, Dino Giovannini, Dora Capozza, and Elena Trifiletti. 2015. "The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice." Journal Of Applied Social Psychology no. 2: 105. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12279

92 Johnson, Dan R., Brandie L. Huffman, and Danny M. Jasper. 2014. "Changing Race Boundary Perception by Reading Narrative Fiction." Basic & Applied Social Psychology 36, no. 1: 83-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2013.856791

93 Ibid.

94 Davis, Kimberly Chabot. 2004. "Oprah's Book Club and the politics of cross-racial empathy." International Journal Of Cultural Studies 7, no. 4: 399. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877904047861

95 Vezzali, Loris, Sofia Stathi, Dino Giovannini, Dora Capozza, and Elena Trifiletti. 2015. "The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice." Journal Of Applied Social Psychology no. 2: 105. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12279

96 Ibid.

97 Davis, Kimberly Chabot. 2004. "Oprah's Book Club and the politics of cross-racial empathy." International Journal Of Cultural Studies 7, no. 4: 399. https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367877904047861

98 Kidd, David Comer and Emanuele Castano. 2013. “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind.” Science 342, no. 6156: 377-380, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/377.

99 Ibid.

100 Panero, Maria Eugenia, Deena Skolnick Weisberg, Jessica Black, Thalia R. Goldstein, Jennifer L. Barnes, Hiram Brownell, and Ellen Winner. "Does reading a single passage of literary fiction really improve theory of mind? An attempt at replication." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 111, no. 5 (2016): e46. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000064

101 Pino, Maria Chiara, and Monica Mazza. 2016. "The Use of “Literary Fiction” to Promote Mentalizing Ability." Plos ONE 11, no. 8: 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0160254

102 Panero, Maria Eugenia, Deena Skolnick Weisberg, Jessica Black, Thalia R. Goldstein, Jennifer L. Barnes, Hiram Brownell, and Ellen Winner. "Does reading a single passage of literary fiction really improve theory of mind? An attempt at replication." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 111, no. 5 (2016): e46. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000064

103 Ibid.

104 Gibson, Donna M. 2007. "Empathizing With Harry Potter: The Use of Popular Literature in Counselor Education." Journal Of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development 46, no. 2: 197-210. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1939.2007.tb00036.x

105 Ibid.

106 Gerdes, Karen E., Elizabeth A. Segal, Kelly F. Jackson, and Jennifer L. Mullins. 2011. "Teaching Empathy: A Framework Rooted In Social Cognitive Neuroscience and Social Justice." Journal Of Social Work Education 47, no. 1: 109-131. http://dx.doi.org/10.5175/JSWE.2011.200900085

107 Ibid.

108 Nijhof, Annabel D., and Roel M. Willems. 2015. "Simulating Fiction: Individual Differences in Literature Comprehension Revealed with fMRI." Plos ONE no. 2: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116492

109 Gallese, Vittorio. 2009. "Mirror Neurons, Embodied Simulation, and the Neural Basis of Social Identification." Psychoanalytic Dialogues 19, no. 5: 519-536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10481880903231910

110 Turner, Linda M. 2013. "Encouraging Professional Growth among Social Work Students through Literature Assignments: Narrative Literature's Capacity to Inspire Professional Growth and Empathy." British Journal Of Social Work 43, no. 5: 853-871. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcs011

111 Argo, Jennifer J., Zhu Rui (Juliet), and Darren W. Dahl. 2008. "Fact or Fiction: An Investigation of Empathy Differences in Response to Emotional Melodramatic Entertainment." Journal Of Consumer Research 34, no. 5: 614-623. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/521907

112 Turner, Linda M. 2013. "Encouraging Professional Growth among Social Work Students through Literature Assignments: Narrative Literature's Capacity to Inspire Professional Growth and Empathy." British Journal Of Social Work 43, no. 5: 853-871. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcs011

113 McDonald, Paula, Katy Ashton, Rachel Barratt, Simon Doyle, DorrieImeson, Amos Meir, and GregoireRisser. 2015. "Clinical Realism: a New Literary Genre and a Potential Tool for Encouraging Empathy in Medical Students." http://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-015-0372-8

114 Kidd, David Comer and Emanuele Castano. 2013. “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind.” Science 342, no. 6156: 377-380, http://science.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/377

115 McDonald, Paula, Katy Ashton, Rachel Barratt, Simon Doyle, DorrieImeson, Amos Meir, and GregoireRisser. 2015. "Clinical Realism: a New Literary Genre and a Potential Tool for Encouraging Empathy in Medical Students." http://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-015-0372-8

116 Dewan, Pauline. "Reading matters in the academic library." Reference & User Services Quarterly52, no. 4 (2013): 309-319. http://www.jstor.org/stable/refuseserq.52.4.309

117 Gilbert, Julie, and Barbara Fister. "Reading, risk, and reality: College students and reading for pleasure." College & Research Libraries (2010): crl-148. http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/2010/10/25/crl-148.short

118 Bérubé, Michael, Hester Blum, Christopher Castiglia, and Julia SpicherKasdorf. "Community Reading and Social Imagination." PMLA 125, no. 2 (2010): 418-425. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25704442

119 McDonald, Paula, Katy Ashton, Rachel Barratt, Simon Doyle, DorrieImeson, Amos Meir, and GregoireRisser. 2015. "Clinical Realism: a New Literary Genre and a Potential Tool for Encouraging Empathy in Medical Students." http://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-015-0372-8

120 Goldstein, Thalia R., and Ellen Winner. 2012. "Enhancing Empathy and Theory of Mind." Journal Of Cognition And Development 13, no. 1: 19-37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15248372.2011.573514

121 Potash, Jordan, and Julie Chen. 2014. "Art-mediated peer-to-peer learning of empathy." Clinical Teacher 11, no. 5: 327-331. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tct.12157/full

122 Gibson, Donna M. 2007. "Empathizing With Harry Potter: The Use of Popular Literature in Counselor Education." Journal Of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development 46, no. 2: 197-210. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1939.2007.tb00036.x

123 Turner, Linda M. 2013. "Encouraging Professional Growth among Social Work Students through Literature Assignments: Narrative Literature's Capacity to Inspire Professional Growth and Empathy." British Journal Of Social Work 43, no. 5: 853-871. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcs011

124 Dewan, Pauline. "Reading matters in the academic library." Reference & User Services Quarterly 52, no. 4 (2013): 309-319. http://www.jstor.org/stable/refuseserq.52.4.309

125 Gilbert, Julie, and Barbara Fister. "Reading, risk, and reality: College students and reading for pleasure." College & Research Libraries (2010): crl-148. http://crl.acrl.org/content/early/2010/10/25/crl-148.short