7. Effects of Fiction

  1. Keith Oatley

Published Online: 15 JUL 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119970910.ch7

Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction

Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction

How to Cite

Oatley, K. (2011) Effects of Fiction, in Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119970910.ch7

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470974575

Online ISBN: 9781119970910



  • effects of fiction - and whether fiction's been good for one;
  • truth and fiction - Plato in saying, truth does not exist in this world, only shadows;
  • fiction, (or poetry) a copy of appearances - a shadow of a shadow;
  • Plato, and fictional devices - metaphors, as one of prisoners in a cave, allegories in The republic, a utopia;
  • people talking about fact and fiction - that fiction is deficient, because it's imagined;
  • learning, in an actual airplane, essential - but in the time aloft, nothing much happens;
  • Mar and colleagues, using two tests - the Mind in the Eyes Test, measure of empathy;
  • Raymond Mar's experimental study - reading pieces from New Yorker, explained by priming;
  • questions of understanding, what others think and feel - immediacy of an encounter, central;
  • transportation, persuasion, indirectness - Melanie Green and Tim Brock's transportation, a state of immersion in a story


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Truth and fiction

  • Effects of reading

  • In the minds of others

  • The idea of self-improvement

  • Can fiction have beneficial effects?

  • Transportation, persuasion, indirectness