Koopman, Eva Maria (Emy). “Effects Of “Literariness” On Emotions And On Empathy and Reflection After Reading.” Psychology Of Aesthetics, Creativity & The Arts, vol. 10, no. 1, 2016, pp. 82-98. Academic Search Premier, doi:10.1037/aca0000041. Accessed 9 Feb. 2017. In this scholarly journal article, Eva Maria Koopman provides results of a study measuring how emotions, empathy, and reflection are impacted by reading literature. Koopman, a Ph.D. candidate at the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities in the Netherlands, holds a Research Master’s degree in Literary Studies and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. In this article, she discusses how some participants in the study read highly “literary” versions of a literature excerpt while others read versions with reduced “literary” elements. She discusses how the study indicated that reading more “literary” literature does influence emotional and empathic responses but that there is not as clear of a connection with reflection. Her conclusion is that more studies are needed to investigate the connection between emotions, empathy, reflection, and “literary” text. Koopman’s findings will prove useful in my research of literature and empathy, as they provide a unique look at the “literary” qualities of a text, an element many studies do not take into account.
Pino, Maria Chiara, and Monica Mazza. “The Use of ‘Literary Fiction’ To Promote Mentalizing Ability.” Plos ONE, vol. 11, no. 8, 2016, pp. 1-14. Academic Search Premier, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160254. Accessed 9 Feb. 2017. At the time of publication, Maria Chiara Pino and Monica Mazza were graduate students at the University of L’Aquila, in L’Aquila, Italy. Pino’s affiliation is with the Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, and Mazza’s is with the Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnology. The Public Library of Science (POS) publishes the peer-reviewed journal Plos ONE. In the article, Pino and Mazza report on and discuss results of their study measuring the effects of reading on empathy and look at two key aspects of empathy: mentalizing abilities (the ability to understand others’ feelings) and emotional sharing (the ability to connect with others’ feelings). Pino and Mazza examined the impact of nonfiction, science fiction, and literature on these abilities and found that literary fiction, as opposed to nonfiction and science fiction, leads to increased mentalizing abilities but no significant change in emotional sharing abilities. They note that their findings correspond with past studies examining the impact of reading literary fiction on empathy and highlight the significance of these findings in regards to identifying possible approaches for treating patients with autism and schizophrenia. This article is useful for my research, not only because it corresponds with the findings of other similar studies, but because it examines three different genres, builds on limitations of past studies, and identifies possible implications of the connection between reading literary fiction and empathy. In addition, the past studies Pino and Mazza reference will be valuable for me to research as well to have a fuller understanding of the history of studies and research in this area.