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'Losing Yourself' in a Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life

As a reader and writer I found this line of research stimulating and interesting.

When you "lose yourself" inside the world of a fictional character while reading a story, you may actually end up changing your own behavior and thoughts to match that of the character, a new study suggests.
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43 comments
 
Interesting. That's probably why my method is better.
I lose myself in a story by inserting myself into the story as a new character with a complicated backstory, who balances being awesome with not taking too much of the glory away from the main character.
 
That's a given, something I've known since a small child. Suppose it's one reason I don't read romance novels.
 
Ward Plunet you just finding this out? People who play World Of Warcraft have know this for years. LOL
 
LOL This is NOT ground breaking. How many times have you been asked; What literature has inspired you? We have millions of people trying to be like Jesus and Mohammad and Buddha. And school is all about exposing people to fictional characters to try and influence people's behavior from Grim's Fairy Tales to Odyssey.
 
+Cole Cummings It is one thing to imagine yourself behaving as someone you admire, and consciously attempting to emulate them. It is something entirely different to find that simply reading a book can cause us to unconsciously alter our behaviors. That's somewhat ... unnerving.
 
Did we really need this study, its the same as moving to a palce that the people have a different accent than you. After time you start to talk like them. The study was funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to Kaufman. The next study there funding is " Do field mice have anxiety when a rattle snake is around ? Money well spent LOL
 
"Our Galehot book was that and he who wrote it..." C'mon, this is nothing new. Clearly Dante knew it, as well as many others! Plato even wrote about it in his Republic!
 
I can believe this study. I've had traces of this happen whilst reading some books. Always thought it was me getting "too into" the book...
 
This is a great study, and totally true!
 
that's what my mum always told me! i was forbidden to read too much fictional books, i mean not to be my genre of books to read.
 
So what has Harry Potter and Star Wars done to the world?
Anas mp
 
Dont be a wolfpack or vampire
;D
 
When I was a child books were my escape!!! From the minute I learned to read, I read everything that I could get my hands on!!! It didn't even matter generally what it was, I would read it!!! Dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia, murder, mystery, space, sci-fi, even true romance (only if I couldn't find anything else!!! LOL!!)
Books can take you to a whole new reality!! But you have to be aware of the book, the character & their relationship with reality!!! Some are just not what you would want to base your life on, but that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy reading!!! I think it's a matter of having a firm grip on reality & what you want or think in your life!!! Always read though, this is a necessity of life!!! :) <3
 
Well, if it makes my real life better, then WTF!!!!!
 
i always get lost in books. makes life more interesting
 
This is also what makes actors effective; they are people who for whom this is even more true, typically right out of the womb.
 
A new study? That's pretty funny because anyone that plays an RPG has known that for a long time!
 
I knew reading a good novel changed me intellectually, but I didn't know it would on average statistically change people behaviour.
 
Quite normal .... since One creates while thinking ;)
The mind is the only source of creation.
 
So what would a diet of SCIENTIFIC science fiction do to grade school kids? Our educators are talking all of this stuff about poor reading and science scores and STEM. If kids are presented with entertaining characters who think scientifically then...
 
Just look at Heath Ledger.....the joker was a messed up character and the drugs did him in!
 
+Alley Hensler I used to do that too! As soon as I could read, I read dictionaries, atlases, fact books, my mother's novels, then bought cheap novels at yard sales. That was 30 years ago. Now I have a Kindle...and probably too many books on it due to Amazon and their free Kindle books!
 
I have yet to become a supergenius because of Ender's Game -.-
 
I experienced this with Eddard Stark of A Game of Thrones.
 
Jean Auel's Earth's Children (5 book series) gave me an appreciation for finding herbs and edible foods for myself... in the woods, fields, etc! Yes, I believe her books helped to change my life! "I'll never go hungry again!" (lol)
 
i already knew that. this is one of those studies you read and say to yourself 'duh! they spent money to figure that out? really?
 
I'm not like his brother Peter either, I swear! More like Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit, except I would've stayed in Baggend, never missing a second (or third) breakfast.
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