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Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind

Overview of attention for article published in Science, October 2013
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#43 of 53,063)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Citations

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272 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
864 Mendeley
citeulike
11 CiteULike
Title
Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind
Published in
Science, October 2013
DOI 10.1126/science.1239918
Pubmed ID
Authors

David Comer Kidd, Emanuele Castano, D. C. Kidd, E. Castano

Abstract

Understanding others' mental states is a crucial skill that enables the complex social relationships that characterize human societies. Yet little research has investigated what fosters this skill, which is known as Theory of Mind (ToM), in adults. We present five experiments showing that reading literary fiction led to better performance on tests of affective ToM (experiments 1 to 5) and cognitive ToM (experiments 4 and 5) compared with reading nonfiction (experiments 1), popular fiction (experiments 2 to 5), or nothing at all (experiments 2 and 5). Specifically, these results show that reading literary fiction temporarily enhances ToM. More broadly, they suggest that ToM may be influenced by engagement with works of art.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 1,014 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 864 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 26 3%
United Kingdom 16 2%
Spain 7 <1%
Germany 5 <1%
France 4 <1%
Taiwan 4 <1%
Netherlands 4 <1%
Canada 4 <1%
Japan 4 <1%
Other 24 3%
Unknown 766 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 189 22%
Researcher 151 17%
Student > Master 125 14%
Student > Bachelor 101 12%
Student > Doctoral Student 67 8%
Other 231 27%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 325 38%
Social Sciences 104 12%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 89 10%
Medicine and Dentistry 70 8%
Arts and Humanities 60 7%
Other 216 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1791. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 19 September 2018.
All research outputs
#695
of 11,796,108 outputs
Outputs from Science
#43
of 53,063 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#11
of 153,784 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Science
#5
of 800 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,796,108 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 53,063 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 153,784 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 800 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.