University of Twente Student Theses


The Importance Of Reading - How Perspective-Taking Influences Our (Prosocial) Behaviour

Nölke, Kim J. (2016) The Importance Of Reading - How Perspective-Taking Influences Our (Prosocial) Behaviour.

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Abstract:Helping has become a matter of course for many of us. Be it through helping picking up dropped purchases or donating money to charity, some sort of prosocial behaviour has become intuitive to almost anyone. In addition, research has shown that we are experiencing the most peaceful era in the existence of the human species: A global decline in violence and an increased inclination towards prosocial behaviour can be recognized, which, amongst others, seems to result from both empathy and improved literacy. It is said that reading helps to learn and develop social competences like empathy which in turn promotes prosocial behaviour. To investigate the relationships between reading, prosocial behaviour and empathy, a true online experiment, including a questionnaire, with 112 participants was conducted. The results have shown that reading a factual text was related to more empathy than reading a personal text. All further relationships between reading, empathy, acceptance and prosocial willingness were not significant, just age had a little effect on acceptance. It is unclear if those findings result from wrong measurement, wrong manipulation or if there were indeed no relationships between the constructs. Further research is recommended.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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