A new US study suggests readers may change their behaviour to emulate a fictional character – so who's gotten under your skin?Good lord above! If this is really true then I dread to think what havoc is wreaked by people who've just finished reading A Clockwork Orange; what unrealistic expectations of romance are held by fans of Jane Austen; what heights of passion are reached by Wuthering Heights aficionados on a daily basis. Because, according to a new study from researchers at Ohio State University, "when you 'lose yourself' inside the world of a fictional character while reading a story, you may actually end up changing your own behaviour and thoughts to match that of the character".Just published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the study gave undergraduates various stories to read and observed their reactions. In one example, students were given stories about voting, with the result...
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