An MSNBC article explains what the researchers refer to as “experience-taking,” which occurs when a reader adopts the beliefs or thoughts of their favorite character. Having such deep connections to a certain character can make a positive and lasting impression, Kaufman told MSNBC. “If you’ve got a deep connection with the characters, it can have a lasting impact,” Kaufman said. “It can inspire you to re-read something. And then the impact can be strengthened over time.” One experiment showed a correlation between readers identifying with a character who had to meet many challenges in order to vote and the readers’ likelihood of voting in elections themselves.
Kaufman is a co-author of the study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, titled “Changing Beliefs and Behavior Through Experience-Taking.”
Read the full story, published 5/13/12 on MSNBC.