Many of us love to read fiction to escape from the real world—and in so doing, we form a connection with the communities that we read about in our favorite novels. But just how strong are these literary emotional bonds?
In a study published in Psychological Science, Shira Gabriel and Ariana Young had volunteers read a passage from either Twilight or Harry Potter. Then they were asked to take a survey to determine how much they identified with the themes and characters of the book they read. The survey revealed that those who read Harry Potter identified with words related to wizardry—such as spell, potion, and wand. On the other hand, the Twilight readers felt a connection to the vampire words on the survey—like fangs, bitten, blood, and undead.
"The study explains how this everyday phenomenon—reading—works not just for escape or education, but as something that fulfills a deep psychological need," Young said.
(Source: Becoming a Vampire Without Being Bitten. A New Study Shows That Reading Expands Our Self-Concepts.. Retrieved from Association for Psychological Science.)