We are who we read about…

Researcher from the Ohio State University conducted a series of six different experiments on about 500 participants, reporting in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that in the right situations, ‘experience-taking,’ may lead to temporary real world changes in the lives of readers.

Yep… I was subconsciously Lizzie as a child. Photo courtesy tvtropes.com.

This is an article from a couple of months ago, but I just stumbled upon it. I think I’m very prone to this disorder. When I was young, I would adopt the characteristics not only from book characters, but also from tv characters. There was a span of time when I was unconsciously Lizzie McQuire. My mother hated it. She banned shows like the Rugrats from my brother and I because she was afraid I would adopt the behavior of Angelica Peters. The author of this article points out that this doesn’t happen in movies and tv because you are less involved and more of an observer (compared to a first person narrative). I don’t know.

I thought it was particularly interesting how this study was applied to social concepts like the perceptions of people of different races or sexual orientations. I know that some writers write to change such social perceptions and it’s interesting to know that there are better and worse ways to do such things psychologically speaking. The article also points out that not all changes are temporary, helping writers who write for change hope for lasting success.

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