ERIC Number: EJ1088589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Opening the Closed Mind: The Effect of Exposure to Literature on the Need for Closure
Djikic, Maja; Oatley, Keith; Moldoveanu, Mihnea C.
Creativity Research Journal, v25 n2 p149-154 2013
The need for cognitive closure has been found to be associated with a variety of suboptimal information processing strategies, leading to decreased creativity and rationality. This experiment tested the hypothesis that exposure to fictional short stories, as compared with exposure to nonfictional essays, will reduce need for cognitive closure. One hundred participants were assigned to read either an essay or a short story (out of a set of 8 essays and 8 short stories matched for length, reading difficulty, and interest). After reading, their need for cognitive closure was assessed. As hypothesized, when compared to participants in the essay condition, participants in the short story condition experienced a significant decrease in self-reported need for cognitive closure. The effect was particularly strong for participants who were habitual readers (of either fiction or non-fiction). These findings suggest that reading fictional literature could lead to better procedures of processing information generally, including those of creativity.
Descriptors: Literature, Foreign Countries, College Students, Higher Education, Cognitive Processes, Questionnaires, Creativity, Experiments, Reading, Reading Habits, Fiction, Nonfiction, Correlation, Readability, Essays, Literary Genres, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Flesch Kincaid Grade Level Formula
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A