research articles

Relationship between personality traits, reading tendencies, and empathy




Big Five Factors, empathy, reading tendencies


Literature suggests that reading fiction, more than reading nonfiction, correlates positively with the reader's social cognition, chiefly cognitive empathy. Earlier studies also indicate that individual differences, especially personality traits, are relevant predictors of reading tendencies that should be considered while studying the relationship between empathy and reading. Hence, in this study we examined whether personality traits, gender, and the students' fiction and nonfiction reading tendencies predict affective and cognitive empathy. University students (N = 429) participated in this study using the following questionnaires: The Emotional Empathy and Fantasy Scale (Raboteg-Šarić, 2002), the IPIP-50 Big-Five markers (Mlačić & Goldberg, 2007), and a newly constructed reading tendencies questionnaire. The results of multiple regression analyses indicate that Big Five Intellect and Big Five Emotional stability positively predicted nonfiction-reading tendency. Moreover, Intellect, Agreeableness, and gender (female) positively predicted fiction-reading tendency, while Extraversion was a negative predictor. Also, Intellect, Agreeableness, gender (female) and fiction-reading tendency positively predicted cognitive empathy. Agreeableness and gender (female) were positive, while Emotional stability and Extraversion were negative predictors of affective empathy.





research articles