“We read to know we room not alone,” wrote C.S. Lewis. Yet how do publications make united state feel we are not alone?

“Obviously, you can’t hold a book’s hand, and a book isn’t going come dry her tears when you’re sad,” claims University in ~ Buffalo, SUNY psychologist Shira Gabriel. Yet us feel person connection, without actual relationships, v reading. “Something else necessary must be happening.”

In an upcoming study in Psychological Science, a newspaper of the association for psychological Science, Gabriel and also graduate college student Ariana Young present what the something is: once we read, we psychologically become component of the community described in the narrative—be lock wizards or vampires. That mechanism satisfies the deeply human, evolutionarily crucial, need for belonging.

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The researcher recruited 140 undergraduates because that the study. Very first the participants were assessed on the degree to i m sorry they meet their requirements for connection by identifying through groups. Climate some check out a i from the novel Twilight in i beg your pardon the undead Edward describes what the feels favor to be a vampire to his romantic attention Bella. Others read a passage from Harry Potter and the wizard Stone in which the hogwart students room separated into “houses” and Harry meets potions professor Severus Snape. Participants were provided 30 minute to review the passage and were instructed to simply read for their very own pleasure.

Then, two measures gauged the participants’ emotional affiliation with vampires or wizards. In the first, the students were instructed come categorize—as quickly and accurately together possible—“me” native (myself, mine) and “wizard” indigenous (broomstick, spell, wand, potions) by pressing the same vital when any of those indigenous flashed on the screen; lock pressed another key for “not-me” words (they, theirs) and “vampire” native (blood, fangs, bitten, undead). Climate the pairs to be reversed. Gabriel and Young supposed participants to respond more quickly as soon as “me” words were linked with a team to i beg your pardon “me” belonged, depending upon which book they read.

Next the researcher administered what they referred to as the Twilight/Harry Potter narrative Collective assimilation Scale, consist of of questions indicating identification with wizards or vampires. Examples: “Do you think you might be able to make yourself disappear and also reappear somewhere else?” and “How sharp room your teeth?” Finally, brief questionnaires assessed participants’ life satisfaction and also mood.

As predicted, top top both measures, Harry Potter readers “became” wizards and the Twilight readers “became” vampires. In addition, participants that were an ext group-oriented in life proved the largest adaptation effects. Finally, “belonging” to these fictional communities delivered the exact same mood and also life satisfaction people get native affiliation v real-life groups.

“The study defines how this everyday phenomenon—reading—works not simply for to escape or education, however as something that fulfills a deep emotional need,” says Young. And also we don’t need to slay any type of boggarts or obtain bitten to feel it.

News > Latest research study News > ending up being a Vampire Without being Bitten. A new Study reflects That Reading expands Our Self-Concepts.

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