360 Relationships & Novel Reading

Research by Stern, S. C., Robbins, B., Black, J. E., & Barnes, J. L. (2018).

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S.

Does reading certain types of novels influence how we perceive relationship quality in our everyday lives? University of Oklahoma researchers investigated the relationship between exposure to different types of written fiction and our beliefs about relationships.

A total of 409 participants completed a variety of questionnaires. The measures assessed book genre familiarity, attachment style, and unrealistic perceptions in relationships and their overall personality. The researchers then looked at a variety of correlations between these variables.

Results? Three genres, classics, science fiction or fantasy, and romance, were found to be significantly correlated with different relationship beliefs. Those who are exposed more to classical literature or science fiction were less likely to believe that disagreement is destructive. Individuals exposed more to science fiction or romance genres are more likely to believe that the sexes are different. Additionally, science fiction readers had a stronger belief that their partners cannot change, and mindreading is expected.

So, the way you view relationships may be influenced by which genre you read more!  Perhaps, knowing what our partners read can help us better understand how they view our relationship.


Stern, S. C., Robbins, B., Black, J. E., & Barnes, J. L. (2018). What you read and what you  believe: Genre exposure and beliefs about relationships. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 18. 1-12.

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