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To Read or Not to Read; That is the Question

Christopher Latourrette, Depts. of Psychology and Sociology, and Morgan Haas, with Dr. Jeffrey Green, Dept. of Psychology

Do regular leisure readers have a different psychological profile from non-readers? We investigated whether particular positive psychological traits (i.e., greater subjective well-being, self-esteem, meaning in life, and lower loneliness) and leisure motivational variables (i.e., intellectual pursuits or distraction source) would distinguish undergraduate readers from non-readers. In support of a larger ongoing research study exploring the psychological benefits of reading and re-reading novels, we conducted a k-means cluster analysis followed by an analysis of variance to determine the clustering group membership that exists based on various psychological trait measures and motivational factors, and the subsequent effect of the clusters on reading frequency. People with higher positive personality traits, specifically subjective well-being and presence of meaning in life, are more motivated to read leisurely for intellectual gains and as a source of distraction read significantly more often, compared to people with less positive personality traits or who are unmotivated to read for intellectual gains and a source of distraction.

Publication Date


Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Jeffrey Green, Ph.D.


Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters


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To Read or Not to Read; That is the Question