Exposure to Narratives and Social Reasoning

Exposure to narratives and social reasoning

Cassandra Chlevin (Faculty Mentor: Karl Bailey, Psychology)

The primary purpose of this study is to replicate the work of Mar, Oatley, Hirsh, dela Paz, and Peterson (2006) on the relationships of narrative and non-narrative texts with empathy and social reasoning. They concluded that fiction-due to the parallels between narrative texts and the social world-may help readers maintain if not cultivate their social skills, whereas readers of non-narrative non-fiction may not have this benefit. The goal of this project is to attempt to replicate and extend this pattern in Seventh-day Adventist Christians using the original materials and a set of religious texts. Correlation analysis (Pearson's r and partial correlations) will be utilized to measure how subjects preform on the Author Recognition Test, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, the "Reading the Mind in the Eyes" Test-revised, and on an instrument designed to measure subjects' familiarity with Bible characters. It is expected that the results of this replication study will mirror those of the original study and that the pattern will be extended to religious texts. In that case, an implication of this study would be that for an Adventist population, exposure to religious narratives may play a role in how empathy and social reasoning develops.