Why Study Literature?

There’s an interesting article here about reading literature. The key findings are thus:

Consider […] the work of social psychologist David Kidd, who in collaboration with his doctoral advisor, ran a series of experiments designed to show that reading literary fiction challenges readers cognitively in a way that might have potentially beneficial effects. Kidd found that reading literary fiction—as opposed to reading non-fiction, popular genre fiction, or nothing at all—improves a test subject’s ability to perform well on social psychological tests of both cognitive and affective theory of mind—a social psychological theory that posits an ability to attribute mental states to others as well as oneself, such that one understands that others might have beliefs, desires, and intentions that are different from one’s own.