Dr. Emy Koopman on NOS radio show Nieuws & Co

Dr. Emy Koopman was interviewed by NOS (Dutch Broadcast Foundation) for the radio show Nieuws & Co about her PhD research.

Does reading literature increase people’s empathy, for instance because the reader sees things through the eyes of a character with other ways of thinking and a different worldview? Dr. Emy Koopman researched this notion and talked about her findings with NOS (Dutch Broadcast Foundation).

In her research, dr. Koopman used parts of an Anna Enquist novel about mourn. A group of participants read the original Enquist text, whereas another got an alternative text which was stripped of any literary styling and techniques.

Participants who had read the original literary text seemed to have more empathy for people who are mourning a loss for a long period of time. However, dr. Koopman would not say that literature always makes people more empathic. An interesting finding is that people do seem to be able to remember the content of literary texts better in comparison to informative texts.

Click here to watch and listen the interview (in Dutch).