30 May 2012

BOOKWORMS ADOPT THE FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS OF FICTIONAL CHARACTERS.

I know it has long since been said that dog owners eventually come to look like their pets, something I can kind of believe looking at these pictures taken at this years Crufts Dog Show ......




Click HERE for more.

BUT did you know ............

You are what you read?

'Readers who identify with fictional characters are prone to subconsciously adopt their behaviour, new data shows.'

Hmm, that explains why when reading the Twilight books I had an overwhelming urge to sink my teeth into the necks of unsuspecting passers-by. Why when reading the adventures of Winnie-The-Pooh I went from feeling great melancholy to fighting the desire to eat honey.


'Researchers at Ohio State University say bookworms have been shown to adopt the feelings, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses of fictional characters they relate to in an phenomenon called experience-taking.

According to the study published in The Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology "Whey you lose yourself" inside the world of a fictional character while reading a story, you may actually end up changing your own behaviour and thoughts to match those of the character.'
-The Mail Online (2012), click HERE to read full article.

Interesting theory, it begs the question with which fictional character do you identify AND did you end up changing your behaviour to match theirs?

17 comments:

NRIGirl said...

Hmmmm... You got me thinking...

I can relate to Indian actress Kajol in most of her movies. Her emotions, feelings or the way she expresses it is so much like myself.

The owners do resemble their pets! Unbelievable!

GMR said...

Hmm...a curious theory and one I can't say I'm inclined to disagree with on the whole at least. That connection or reflection of ourselves that we catch sometimes....it helps to make the read more personal. I know I've identified a time or two with (some) aspects of characters I've read....A SUMMER IN EUROPE....CARRIE PILBY....but as I said, in SOME ways they were mirrors, in others not. Did I alter MY actions? Umm, no...but I can't say I wasn't tempted to try some things mentioned. I mean really, who would turn down a trip to Europe?!? ^_^

(Oh and on the pet lookalike thing? Totally true. In some way, they almost ALWAYS do. ) Great post Tracy!

Dizzy C said...

Tracy,

thanks for this article.
I read a fair bit of historical fiction, but maybe it is the chick-lit that makes me think I am still only 21, when in actual fact my daughter is coming closer to that ;)

carol x

carol said...

Interesting theory. I'm not sure that I really do change my behavior to match characters I relate to. Of course, my husband might disagree. He says he can tell when I'm reading a steamy romance or am reading a book that's just annoying me or that I'm hating.

Jeannie said...

I doubt I've ever changed my behaviour to reflect a character I've read - I find most characters have too much going for them - they are good looking, smart, talented, sociable and wise and generally end up with more money than I have. Since I may have some but not all those qualities, I have never really identified that closely with any of them. Plus, I am too lazy to change.

Arti said...

Thought provoking post! Had me thinking quite a bit! Loved the way you wrote about that Twilight impersonation!!!
Have a nice day Tracy:)

Betty Manousos said...

interesting theory, tracy.
hmmm, you got me thinking..
actually books, novels may have a lot more power than we think.
indeed great post!

big hugs!

Kelly said...

Very interesting theory about relating to the characters we read about. I'm not sure I've ever really done that and will have to make note with my next novel.

I love photos that show "matching" pets and owners.

Suko said...

I do think there's more than a kernel of truth in this. When I read an Austen-inspired novel, for example, I will start to think about those times,which in turn influences my behavior (which may become slightly more formal). When there's a meeting of the minds between writer and reader, and especially when characters are worthy of emulation, then I think this is true. (It is akin to the kind of influence a friend may have on us.)

Excellent post, Petty!

anilkurup said...

Hmm interesting observation. Well, well, I do not know really. But yes when I was little it was moving into the skin of another character in the fictions I used to read.
But as an adult I do not think I do.
Count of Monte Christo was one character that hynotised me.

John McElveen said...

WOW--Glad you warned me! Great job Tracy!

J

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I don't look like my dogs, but hm... we sometimes have the same hair color... LOL

I used to do that when I was a kid. I loved to either read or watch a movie and then pretend I was them. That was fun.

naida said...

Interesting topic. There is some truth in it. What I'm reading does affect mood and my thoughts a bit. I can't say I match my behavior to the characters though.

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog) said...

LOL @ urge to sink your teeth into people.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Jess@The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow said...

How interesting! I can see how we act like the characters we read about. I sometimes find that when I read a very emotional book- I feel like I have experienced whatever the characters went through. I can be a little short with people when the character has been treated badly and things like that. I am glad I am not alone! Luckily- I move on to the next book and I get passed it. :)

Jenners said...

I think if I start to look like Romeo, it will be a step up for me!

AguiLeon said...

nice i like dog