Engaging with fictional narratives may benefit real-world interpersonal skills, by providing a means to exercise the cognitive mechanisms associated with empathic understanding. However, empathy is a multidimensional phenomenon and fiction is engaged with via a range of formats. My research examines relationships between different ways of engaging with fiction and different routes to empathic understanding. I hope to contribute to an emerging body of research aiming to establish the benefits of fiction-engagement, and of the arts more broadly, for people's interpersonal skills.
After graduating from Lancaster University (BA Hons., 2006) and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (MA., 2008), I worked as an actor and applied arts practitioner taking arts interventions and creative training initiatives in a range of contexts, including education, criminal justice, medical and social care settings. I completed a Diploma in Psychology (conversion for postgraduates) through the Open University in 2013.