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Readers’ emotions are naturally blended with their cognitive abilities in the transaction with literary texts. From the perspective of emotional intelligence, an emotionally literate reader will be able to read beyond the surface of the text and make inferences regarding shades of feelings, their causes and effects. The purpose of the present study was to observe whether there is any correlation between the emotional intelligence profile of young readers and their abilities to identify the emotional input in literary texts and its impact on themselves. The study was carried out with the participation of 72 students in the first year at the Faculty of Letters in Iași. It consisted in three stages and relied both on quantitative and qualitative data collection. In the first stage, the students filled in a Reading literary texts – Self-report questionnaire; in the second stage they filled in the How Empathetic are You? (The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire, TEQ) (“How Empathetic”) and in the third stage they were given excerpts from the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio in order to check whether the self-reported emotional literacy skills were at work when approaching a literary text. Approximately half of the students (30) offered to watch the film prior to class discussion and work. The answers were compared with the results of the self-reported questionnaires and a natural and fairly consistent correspondence between the profiles of readers in terms of empathy in general and the empathy felt with regard to the fictional characters together with a good command of emotion vocabulary could be observed.
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