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Advances in Psychological Science    2020, Vol. 28 Issue (3) : 434-442     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00434
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How does literature reading affect readers’ Theory of Mind?
Lijuan CHEN,Xiaodong XU()
School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
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Literature reading can not only improve readers' literary accomplishment, but also affect their psychological and cognitive states. However, although an increasing number of experimental studies have been carried out, the question of whether the literature exposure can improve reader's Theory of Mind (ToM) still remains unsolved. To this end, we review recent experimental studies of the relationship between literary reading and ToM, and analyzes the reasons underlying the inconsistency from the perspective of text genre and individual differences. On this basis, the potential mechanism underlying the influence of literary reading on ToM abilities is proposed: the Mirror Neuron system and the Default Network are possibly to be the crucial neural basis.

Keywords literature reading      Theory of Mind      narrative perspective      empathy     
Corresponding Authors: Xiaodong XU     E-mail:
Issue Date: 18 January 2020
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Lijuan CHEN
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Lijuan CHEN,Xiaodong XU. How does literature reading affect readers’ Theory of Mind?[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2020, 28(3): 434-442.
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