Does reading YA fiction make you a better person? Apparently, yes.
Black and Barnes developed a two-part research study to deepen the exploration of earlier research on reading and its impact on morality. The study sought to make connections between reading different types of books—YA fiction, adult fiction, and nonfiction—and the impact each may have on empathy, moral identity, and moral agency.
“Moral self is the salience of morality in people’s sense of identity (Blasi, 1980),” according to the research methodology, “and integrity refers to the preference for consistency between moral principles and actions (Blasi, 1983).” These two definitions have been standardized enough in research to have tools making them quantifiable for researchers. The third, moral agency, is defined as “the ability to do what one believes to be right and to avoid doing what one believes to be wrong (Bandura, 2006).”