Growing up, those who preferred reading over watching television may have been mocked, but a new study suggests they now have the last laugh. The study found that individuals who enjoyed reading were genuinely nicer and more personable than their TV watching peers. Although the study couldn’t prove cause and effect, it does give you a reason to pick up a paperback.

The study, conducted by Rose Turner from Kingston University in London, found that individuals who enjoy reading are more friendly and understanding than individuals who prefer to watch television, The Independent reported. In addition, the type of book a person reads may also influence their particular emotional strengths. For example, the study found that individuals who like to read fiction display more positive social behavior, while those who enjoy drama and romance are particularly empathic. In addition, readers of more experimental book categories show the ability to see things from a different perspective. Comedy fans are exceptionally gifted at being able to relate to others.

Read: Inside The Human Brain: How Watching TV Changes Neural Pathways Versus Reading A Book

On the other hand, individuals who preferred to watch television scored as less friendly and less understanding of other’s views.

To come up with these results, Turner quizzed 123 volunteers on their preferred form of entertainment: books, TV, or plays. These same volunteers were also tested on their interpersonal skills to help better understand their kindness and consideration skills.

Past research may explain why TV watchers lack in empathy. According to a 2013 study, researchers from Ohio State University found that television impacted a child’s theory of mind, or their ability to think from the perspective of another. Ultimately, a weakened sense of theory of mind impacts a child’s ability to recognize another person’s beliefs, intents, desires, and knowledge.

“Children with more developed theories of mind are better able to participate in social relationships,” said the study’s lead researcher Amy Nathanson, a communications professor at Ohio State University, in a statement. “These children can engage in more sensitive, cooperative interactions with other children and are less likely to resort to aggression as a means of achieving goals."

This is not the first time that a love for literature has been associated with other positive characteristic traits. For example, a survey conducted by eHarmony in April 2017 found that listing reading as a hobby on your dating profile may help may you appear more appealing to potential dates. Overall, men who listed reading as a hobby receive 19 percent more messages, and women who do the same get about 3 percent more messages. According to the survey, the reason for this may be because avid readers are seen as more “intellectually curious than most, and ring it easier to form open and trusting relationships with others."

Source: Turner R.Bookworm, Film-buff or Thespian? Investigating the relationship between fictional worlds and real-world social abilities. Kingston University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Research Conference, Kingston, UK. 2017

See Also:

E-Books Are Damaging Your Health: Why We Should All Start Reading Paper Books Again

Health Benefits of Reading: 4 Other Surprising Treatments For Chronic Pain