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Project title: What are the psychological benefits of engaging with another personís imagination?

Primary supervisor: Professor Peter Totterdell

Project description: People frequently and intentionally choose to engage with the fruits of other peopleís imagination. These encounters often occur through different forms of art, such as literature, visual art, drama, video games, and music. Clearly these encounters provide pleasure but do they also provide other universal psychological benefits, such as meaning, hope, and support for our better selves? Recent research (Kidd & Castano, 2013), for example, has indicated that reading literary fiction can enhance a personís understanding of others. This doctorate will involve conducting a series of quantitative studies to evaluate such ideas.
Relevant paper:
Kidd, D. C., & Castano, E. (2013). Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science, 342, 377-380.

Formal enquiries should be addressed to: Professor Peter Totterdell (p.totterdell@sheffield.ac.uk)

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