How Might Literature Do Harm?

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posted:5/28/2010
language:English
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Description: [...] researchers have demonstrated that, after reading a moderately engaging story, people will express more agreement with statements that straightforwardly contradict real-world truths (e.g., that mental illnesses are contagious) (Prentice, Gerrig, and Bailis; see also Wheeler, Green, and Brock). [...] obsessions represent circumstances in which "the imagination is informed not by objective criteria but by a persuasive narrative leading the person to treat a possibility as reality" (Aardema and O'Connor 1 90). [...] as possibilities migrate from the imagination, OCD sufferers begin to engage in behaviors that have a negative impact on their day-to-day functioning.
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