A trio of University of Toronto scholars, led by psychologist Maja Djikic, report that people who have just read a short story have less need for what psychologists call “cognitive closure.” Compared with peers who have just read an essay, they expressed more comfort with disorder and uncertainty—attitudes that allow for both sophisticated thinking and greater creativity.
“Exposure to literature,” the researchers write in the Creativity Research Journal, “may offer a (way for people) to become more likely to open their minds.”
On a completely (un)related note, I found this wonderful campaign on my Tumblr feed last night and couldn’t agree more about the pictures. In my case though, I think there would be a mermaid dripping wet (from the ocean – quiet those dirty minds!) and about to turn to foam (the un-Disney version, of course) and a little match girl who finally gets to curl up under the covers.
And I’d have to find enough room under my bed for Alice, the Mad Hatter and of course the Cheshire Cat. And like he says, “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
But at least we’ll all be well-read…
What about you? Who would we find with you as your curl up with your favorite book before going to bed?