A recent study by David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano of The New School for Social Research in New York City argues that reading literary fiction (as compared with reading popular fiction, or nothing at all) temporarily enhances one's ability to understand others' mental states and deepens empathy. The study—published in the journal Science in October—grabbed a lot of attention, including a front-page article in The New York Times.
This document was originally published by Editorial Projects in Education in Education Week. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Wilhelm, Jeffrey D. and Smith, Michael W.. (2014). "Don't Underestimate the Power of Pleasure Reading". Education Week, 33(18), 25.