The next time you have to go for a date or an important meeting, try reading some Chekhov or Alice Munro before you head out the door. It's probably going to make that interaction go off well, says a new study.
The New York Times explains:
The researchers found that people who read literary fiction scored better than those who read popular fiction. This was true even though, when asked, subjects said they did not enjoy literary fiction as much.
Social psychologists at the New School for Social Research in New York City conducted a test which found that subjects who read literary fiction — like Chekhov or Louise Erdrich — had heightened empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence than those who read popular fiction (like Danielle Steele or Robert Heinlein) or nothing at all. These skills help you better read body language and estimate what others are thinking. Chalk this up as one of the many ways in how to not suck at meetings.
For Better Social Skills, Scientists Recommend a Little Chekhov [New York Times]