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Study finds science fiction triggers poorer reading.

bittersweet

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US academics find words such as ‘airlock’ and ‘antigravity’ are cues for test subjects to assume a story isn’t worth a careful read...

It might feature such thought-stretching concepts as time travel and warp drives, but reading science fiction actually makes you read more “stupidly”, according to new research.

In a paper published in the journal Scientific Study of Literature, Washington and Lee University professors Chris Gavaler and Dan Johnson set out to measure how identifying a text as science fiction makes readers automatically assume it is less worthwhile, in a literary sense, and thus devote less effort to reading it. They were prompted to do their experiment by a 2013 study which found that literary fiction made readers more empathetic than genre fiction.

Their study, detailed in the paper The Genre Effect, saw the academics work with around 150 participants who were given a text of 1,000 words to read. In each version of the text, a character enters a public eating area and interacts with the people there, after his negative opinion of the community has been made public. In the “literary” version of the text, the character enters a diner after his letter to the editor has been published in the town newspaper. In the science fiction version, he enters a galley in a space station inhabited by aliens and androids as well as humans.
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Do you agree or disagree?
 

TopSilver

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Probably because the readers mind wonders since the subject is so way out there. Maybe this is due to the reader thinking about other things similar in their own way while reading it. I think this may actually be true.
 

JoyFreak

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Not sure if I agree or disagree but it all depends on the readers mind just like the above has said. I think it always opens questions in your mind and you want those questions answered. You should always go with a reliable source and do more research!
 

bittersweet

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I disagree with the study completely. I enjoy reading science fiction, enjoy imagining the worlds of tomorrow and the future and what it may or may not bring. I don't think it ever harmed my reading level or comprehension. I always thought it encouraged me to look up new words I didn't know the meaning of in the dictionary.
 

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I disagree with the study completely. I enjoy reading science fiction, enjoy imagining the worlds of tomorrow and the future and what it may or may not bring. I don't think it ever harmed my reading level or comprehension. I always thought it encouraged me to look up new words I didn't know the meaning of in the dictionary.
I think it's mostly a case of the mind wandering. Peoples minds tend to wander when you talk about spiritual things, religion or even outer space. Why this is a don't know but from experience I can say for sure that it happens with certain people. I don't think it would necessarily harm your reading level/comprehension but you might pay less attention to what your reading.
 

bittersweet

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I can see that. I don't agree with it though. I think people's minds wander because of the large number of distractions in today's world with technology readily available at our fingertips.
 

TopSilver

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I can see that. I don't agree with it though. I think people's minds wander because of the large number of distractions in today's world with technology readily available at our fingertips.
Well how is everyone the same though? My mind wanders when I read spiritual stuff or stuff about outer space. Just saying that a lot of people I know if I bring up certain topics will not pay attention to me much at all. Some will and are very much interested in the things I have to say while others might change the subject or not even care to want to listen to my point of view. Talking to someone is different than reading but if I'm reading a book that's talking about the stuff I believe in whether it be the bible or even a book on the keplar space telescope for example (that has found earth like planets) then I would be more inclined for my mind to think into space because I'm actually interested in the subject. So maybe being interested in the subject is the reason behind it. You pay less attention because your interested in it
 

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According to the article, readers find it harder to relate and put themselves in the shoes of the sci-fi characters and therefore tried harder to try to understand the world of the story. Readers had appeared to have expected an overall simpler story to comprehend and this overrode the actual qualities of the story itself, with the setting triggering a poorer overall reading. When reading any Sci-Fi novels, I never ran into that problem as I never really put too much thought into what genre I was reading, rather just enjoyed what I was reading. I can understand how someone would read a Sc-Fi novel more 'poorly' if they had a negative bias towards the genre.
 

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