I have, more than once, suggested that with care you can make the reader an actual character in your story. Reaction to that claim has been varied, from abject ridicule to mild interest. Oh, well.
Now, out of nowhere, it seems, Science Daily tells us that “Losing Yourself’ in a Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life”. Not quite what I was getting at, you say? Balderdash! It’s exactly—sort of, kinda, almost—what I was getting at. Pulling your character into the story is done by the skill you develop in your craft… and the willing suspension of disbelief on the part of your reader.
Researchers at Ohio State University have seen that people who are pulled into the story by a skilled writer often take on habits, persona, and prejudices of the character they identify with. Tests showed real-world personality changes in readers (yes, often transitory, but real nonetheless) in the readers.
If you are as interested in this as I am, read the full article at: Daily Science.
Here are some additional articles on the topic: