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What are the psychological benefits of engaging with another person’s imagination?

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  • Full or part time
    Prof P Totterdell
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

People frequently and intentionally choose to engage with the fruits of other people’s imagination. These encounters often occur through different forms of art, such as literature, visual art, drama, video games, and music. Clearly these encounters provide pleasure but do they also provide other universal psychological benefits, such as meaning, hope, and support for our better selves? Recent research (Kidd & Castano, 2013), for example, has indicated that reading literary fiction can enhance a person’s understanding of others. This doctorate will involve conducting a series of quantitative studies to evaluate such ideas.

Funding Notes

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology. Please see here for full details: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/psychology/prospectivepg/funding
Overseas students are welcome to apply for funding but must be able to demonstrate that they can fund the difference in the tuition fees.
Requirements: We ask for a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

References

Kidd, D. C., & Castano, E. (2013). Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science, 342, 377-380.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.45

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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