Literary literature makes you more literary. It’s a fact.

Alternate reporting on this study is available from The Guardian.

The Argumentative Old Git

Another day, another study. Apparently, we now know it to be a  scientific fact that reading literary fiction, as opposed to non-literary fiction (please don’t ask me what those terms mean: they aren’t mine), improves your “people skills”. It helps you understand other people better, helps you relate to them more effectively, and so on. In short, it makes you a better person, and a good egg all round.

The report in the Telegraph reads:

Some volunteers were asked to read…

Whoa, hold on there! “Some volunteers”? That doesn’t say much for statistical significance. Well, let’s not worry about details: “some volunteers” it is.

Some volunteers were asked to read excerpts of recent award-winning novels or short stories, while others were asked to read either parts of popular fiction bestsellers or non-fiction pieces from Smithsonian Magazine.

The readers were then subjected to a series of five…

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