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Fiction and Empathy: Exploring the Impact of Reading Fiction in the Development of Empathy

by Laliberte, Alyssa

Abstract

Humans spend a large amount of their free time engaged with fiction, whether it is reading a novel before bed, watching a television show, or skimming over the comic strips in the newspaper. Despite the abundance of these familiarities, there is very little research examining the effect of these experiences and the role they play in developing empathy, particularly in school age children. There is significant evidence that supports the relationship between reading fiction and empathy in adults (Johnson, 2012; Kidd & Castano, 2013; Mar et. al., 2006; Mar et. al., 2009). Based on this research and additional findings, this paper provides implications for building empathy in students through teaching practices. It also suggests the potential impacts these practices can have on not only the classroom level, but the societal level in terms of developing more empathetic children.

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College Tutt Library
PID
coccc:30181
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
43 pages : illustrations
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Valtierra, Kristina
Department/Program
Education
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College Tutt Library
Date Issued
2017-07