WEDNESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Reading a book can
satisfy the crucial human need for belonging, a new study has
The research involved 140 university students who were given 30
minutes to read a selected passage from either the vampire novel
Twilight or the wizard novel
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The passages focused on the lives of either vampires or wizards.
The participants were then assessed for their psychological
connection with either vampires or wizards, called "assimilation
effects." Those who read
Harry Potter"became" wizards and those who read
Twilight"became" vampires. The largest effect was seen in participants who were more group-oriented in their lives.
The study also found that "belonging" to the fictional
communities in the books gave the same mood and life satisfaction
people get from association with real-life groups, according to the
researchers, University at Buffalo SUNY psychologist Shira Gabriel
and graduate student Ariana Young.
"The study explains how this everyday phenomenon -- reading -- works not just for escape or education, but as something that fulfills a deep psychological need," Young said in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science.
The findings are scheduled to appear in the association's
The University of California, Berkeley, has more on