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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 (#28 of 42,581)
  • 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)

Readers on

mendeley
751 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 1,020 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 751 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 27 4%
United Kingdom 16 2%
Spain 7 <1%
Germany 6 <1%
Netherlands 5 <1%
France 4 <1%
Brazil 4 <1%
Taiwan 4 <1%
Canada 4 <1%
Other 24 3%
Unknown 650 87%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 168 22%
Researcher 136 18%
Student > Master 109 15%
Student > Bachelor 80 11%
Student > Doctoral Student 58 8%
Other 200 27%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 275 37%
Social Sciences 93 12%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 85 11%
Medicine and Dentistry 64 9%
Arts and Humanities 51 7%
Other 183 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1743. 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 17 November 2017.
All research outputs
#514
of 8,658,756 outputs
Outputs from Science
#28
of 42,581 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#11
of 141,224 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Science
#5
of 801 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,658,756 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 42,581 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.3. 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 141,224 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 801 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.