Answer key: Classics and Emotions

Lesson Plan: Reading Tolstoy Increases Emotional Level

II. While Reading Tasks


Word Inference

  1. blind date |ˈblaɪn(d) ˈˌdeɪt| noun- a social engagement or date with a person one has not previously met: a blind date arranged by well-meaning friends.
  2. potboiler |ˈpɑtˌbɔɪlər| noun informal- a book, painting, or recording produced merely to make the writer or artist a living by catering to popular taste.
  3. empathy |ˈempəTHē| noun-the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
  4. gauge |gāj| verb [ with obj. ] – form a judgment or estimate of (a situation, mood, etc.): she is unable to gauge his mood.
  5. nonfiction |nänˈfikSHən| noun-prose writing that is based on facts, real events, and real people, such as biography or history.
  6. aghast |əˈgast|  adjective [ predic. ]-filled with horror or shock: when the news came out they were aghast.
  7. squint |skwint| verb- [ no obj. ] look at someone or something with one or both eyes partly closed in an attempt to see more clearly or as a reaction to strong light: the bright sun made them squint.
  8. influence  |ˈinflo͝oəns| noun-the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself: the influence of television violence /| their friends are having a bad influence on them.
  9. correlated |ˈkôrəˌlāt, ˈkär-| verb- have a mutual relationship or connection, in which one thing affects or depends on another: the study found that success in the educational system correlates highly with class.
  10. fiction  |ˈfikSHən| noun-literature in the form of prose, esp. short stories and novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F- According to the results,  reading  something by Chekhov will help you in new social situations more so than a potboiler by Danielle Steel.
  2. T- The  conclusion of the test  was written in a study published in the Journal Science.
  3. NA-Reading classical literature can also help married couples.
  4. F- Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service was  used to find a broader pool of participants.
  5. T- Nicholas Humphrey is an evolutionary psychologist.
  6. T-According to the experts, the  results implied that people could be primed for social skills like empathy, just as watching a clip from a sad movie can make one feel more emotional.
  7. F- One of the novels used in the experiment was The Round House by Louise Erdrich.
  8. NA-This research included an assortment of  books for children.
  9. F- The age range of the participants was  from 18 to 75.
  10. T- Scientists have used emotional intelligence perception  tests to study children with autism.

 Grammar Focus

Structure and Usage


People performed better on tests measuring empathy and social  perception.


They were paid $2 or $3 each to read for a few minutes.


There is much the study does not address.