University of Twente Student Theses


Reading and its influence on antisocial behaviour

Rothfeld, N. C. (2017) Reading and its influence on antisocial behaviour.

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Abstract:The current study investigated the relationship between reading, as a form of perspective taking, and antisocial behaviour. Based on Bal and Veltkamp's (2013) research findings a lack of transportation while reading would lead to less emotional engagement, which was predicted to cause selfish compensation behaviour. To verify these findings an online experiment was conducted (N=102). During the study, participants were asked to either read the original version of a fictional text (high engagement condition) or an added version (low engagement condition), which was intended to be unpleasant. Afterwards, the degree to which transportation, empathy, theory of mind, and antisocial behaviour were evoked were measured. It was hypothesised that people reading the disengaging text would feel less transported into the story, would score lower on empathy and would report higher scores on a subsequent dice rolling task to have a better chance of winning a price. The result was that, instead of being disturbed by the mistakes, people assigned to the low engagement condition scored significantly higher on transportation and empathy than people in the high engagement condition. But no effect could be found from reading on antisocial behaviour. Possible explanations were an unsuccessful manipulation and a missing control condition.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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