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Learning Human Nature From Novels - Essay Example

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Learning Human Nature From Novels

In the year 2002, a group of students from the International Congress IGEL University of Pecs conducted a study entitled "Causal Relationships between Reading Socialication, Socioeconomic Variables, and Strategies for Reading Novels." The goal of the sturdy or research is to determine through statistical method the relationships in reading socialization and its significant effects to the reader based on several factors such as reading frequency and preferences, reading socialization, reading strategies, social data and cultural milieu. The study was conducted from people all over Germany who were at least 16 years old. 1025 people were interviewed.

The aim of the statistical investigation of the collected data was twofold: Firstly to verify reading strategies. With the concept of "reading strategy", all the operations and actions that readers apply when they read a literary text are implied. Such reading strategies can occur before, during and after reading. They include both the behavior to the text in it's material form (e.g. browsing through a book, throwing it in the trash) as well as emotional reactions and cognitive operations (e.g. identifying oneself with the protagonist, furthering the story in one's own daydreams) as well as social interaction and communication about the text (e.g. talking about the book with the book dealer or with friends). (Burbaum et al. 2002)

The result concluded that education has a big impact to reading socialization and the so-called highbrow literature which is also known as the sophisticated literature is associated with people having good education. However, there is no connection between gender and the level of sophistication in literature. There are four points that should be remembered in this study. The first one is a person with more distinctive reading socialization is more likely to read in the style of coping. The second idea is women are more likely to read in the style of coping by reading. Another significant point on reading novels is that a person who reads in the style of coping is more likely to read highbrow or sophisticated literature and has a higher probability of doing reflective reading. The last to be considered of this study is the fact that the person who reads highbrow literature is more possible to apply reflective reading strategies. (Burbaum et. al., 2002).

Through the mentioned study, there is already a glimpse to the fact that people are not reading novels for nothing. People too are not indifferent to the known effects of the novels to attitudes and perspectives of life. To prove this idea, another study in 2006 conducted by Mar, R.A., Oatley, K., Hirsh, J., dela Paz, J. & Peterson, J.B. with title "Reading novels linked with increased empathy," showed that those people who read a lot of novels of fiction are more probable to have empathy than those who read nonfiction. This is for the reason that fiction readers are subject to understanding human's emotions through the characters in the story and therefore are more likely to understand what is happening to some people. Reading fiction or novels also hone some people to giving immediate proper reaction to situation that may or may not be controlled. This is because novel readers are faced to the so-called image of reality than the nonfiction readers who are just presented with the fact and the current and usually have no explanation of the process of emotions happening in that particular situation. Below is the quotation from the said study which they took from a known writer. (Mar et al., pages 694-712)

"'Oh! it is only a novel!' or, in short, only some work in which the most thorough ...Show more


For so many years now, many people still have questions on the effect of reading novels to attitudes, beliefs and even to life as a whole. It cannot be answered by a simple phrase saying that novels make lives beautiful. …
Author : mosesritchie
Learning Human Nature From Novels
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