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Names in Red are York University Students.



[Resources]  [Google Scholar]

Cozby, P. C., Mar, R. A., & Rawn, C. D. (2020). Methods in Behavioural Research (3rd Canadian Edition). Toronto, CA: McGraw-Hill Education.
  * 100% of Dr. Mar's royalties from this textbook will be donated to these BIPOC charities: 1, 2, 3, 4 *
  * receipts available *

Fong, K., Quinlan, J., & Mar, R. A. (in press). Select your character: Individual needs and avatar choice. Psychology of Popular Media.

Dunk, R. J. & Mar, R. A. (in press). Cognitive exploration drives engagement and re-engagement with imaginary worlds, but not spatial exploration as predicted by evolutionary theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Ivanksi, C., Humphries, S., van Dalen-Oskam, K., & Mar, R. A. (in press). Do we judge fiction by the author’s gender? Journal of Media Psychology.

PDF Ivanksi, C., Lo, R. F.,  & Mar, R. A. (2021). Pets and politics: Do liberals and conservatives differ in their preferences for cats versus dogs? Collabra, 7, 28391.

Ivanksi, C., Maslej, M. M.,  & Mar, R. A. (in press). Empirical approaches to studying emotion in literature: the case of gender. In Hogan, P. C., Irish, B., & Hogan, L. P. (Eds.) Routledge Companion to Literature and Emotion.

PDF Black, J. E., Barnes, J. L., Oatley, K., Tamir, D. I., Dodell-Feder, D., Richter, T., & Mar, R. A. (2021). Stories and their role in social cognition. In A. Jacobs & D. Kuiken (Eds.). The Handbook of Empirical Studies of Literature (pp. 229–250). Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamins.

PDF Maslej, M. M., Quinlan, J. A., & Mar, R. A. (in press). Aesthetic responses to the characters, plots, worlds, and style of stories. In M. Nadal & O. Vartanian (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Aesthetics (pp. XX–XX). Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK.

PDF Rain, M. & Mar. R. A. (2021). Adult attachment and engagement with fictional characters. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38, 2792–2813.

PDF Cila, J., Lalonde, R. N., Sasaki, J. Y., & Mar, R. A. (2021). Zahra or Zoe, Arjun or Andrew? Bicultural Baby Names Reflect Identity and Pragmatic Concerns. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 27, 307–319.

PDF Mar, R. A., Li, J., Nguyen, A. T. P. & Ta, C. (2021). Memory and Comprehension of Narrative versus Expository Texts: A meta-analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 28, 732–749.

PDF Schindler, J., Richter, T., & Mar, R. A. (2021). Does Generation Benefit Learning for Narrative and Expository Texts? A Direct Replication Attempt. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 35, 559–564.
[Stage 1 Registered report]

PDF Martin-Chang, S., Kozak, S., Levesque, K. C., Calarco, N., & Mar, R. A. (2021). What’s your pleasure? Exploring the predictors of leisure reading for fiction and nonfiction. Reading & Writing, 34, 1387–1414.

PDF Maslej, M. M., Mar, R. A., & Kuperman, V. (2021). The textual features of fiction that appeal to readers: Emotion and abstractness. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 15, 272–283.

PDF Quinlan, J. A., & Mar, R. A. (2020). How imagination supports narrative experiences for textual, audiovisual, and interactive narratives. In A. Abraham (Ed.). The Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination (pp. 466–478). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK.

PDF van Monsjou, E. & Mar, R. A. (2019). Interest and investment in romances. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 13, 431–449.
(Please note correction at end.)

PDF Chung-Fat-Yim, A., Cilento, E., Piotrowska, E., & Mar, R. A. (2019). Are stories just as transporting when not in your native tongue? Language & Cognition, 11, 285–309.

PDF Bainbridge, T., Quinlan, J. A., Mar, R. A., & Smilie, L. D. (2019) Openness/Intellect and Susceptibility to Pseudo-Profound Bullshit: A Replication and Extension. European Journal of Personality, 33, 72–88.

PDF Mar, R. A. (2018). Stories and the promotion of social cognition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27, 257–262.

PDF Mar, R. A. (2018). Evaluating Whether Stories can Promote Social Cognition: Introducing the Social Processes and Content Entrained by Narrative (SPaCEN) Framework. Discourse Processes, 5/6, 454–479.

PDF Erentzen, C., Quinlan, J. A., & Mar, R. A. (2018). Sometimes You Need More than a Wingman: Masculinity, femininity and the role of humor in men’s mental health help-seeking campaigns. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 37, 128–157.

PDF Mar, R. A. & Spreng, R. N. (2018). Episodic memory solves many problems, both social and nonsocial, and likely evolved to fulfill a diverse range of functions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, e20.

PDF Zacks, J., Mar, R. A., & Calarco, N. (2018). The Cognitive Neuroscience of Discourse: Covered Ground and New Directions (pp. 269–294). In D. Rapp, A. Britt, & M. Schober (Eds.) Handbook of Discourse Processes, 2nd ed. New York, NY: Routledge.

PDF Calarco, N., Fong, K.Rain, M. & Mar, R. A. (2017). Absorption in narrative fiction and its possible impact on social abilities (pp. 293–313). In F. Hakemulder, M. M. Kuijpers, E. S. H. Tan, K. Balint, & M. M. Doicaru (Eds.). The Handbook of Narrative Absorption. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

PDF Maslej, M. M., Oatley, K., & Mar, R. A. (2017). Creating fictional characters: The role of experience, personality, and social processes. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 11, 487–499.

PDF Rule, N. O., Mar, R., & Bjornsdottir, R. T. (2017). Cultural neuroscience insights to individual differences and personality (pp. 59–86). In A. T. Church (Ed.),  The Praeger Handbook of Personality across Cultures, Vol. 3. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

PDF McCreath, G. A., Linehan, C. M. J., & Mar, R. A. (2017). Can Differences in Word Frequency Explain Why Narrative Fiction is a Better Predictor of Verbal Ability than Nonfiction? A corpus linguistic analysis. Discourse Processes, 54, 373–381.

⬇︎ Download Data and Analysis Script

PDF Chung-Fat-Yim, A., Peterson, J. B., & Mar, R. A. (2017). Validating Self-paced Sentence-by-Sentence Reading: Story comprehension, recall, and narrative transportation. Reading and Writing, 30, 857–869.

PDF Rain, M., Cilento, E., MacDonald, G., & Mar, R. A. (2017). Adult attachment and transportation into narrative worlds. Personal Relationships, 24, 49–74.

PDF Till, B., Truong, F., Mar, R. A., & Niederkrotenthaler, T. (2016). Blurred world view: A study on the relationship between television viewing and the perception of the justice system. Death Studies, 40, 538–546.

PDF Oatley, K., Djikic, M., & Mar, R. A. (2016). The Inwardness of James Joyce’s Story, “The Dead.” Readings, 2, 1–14.

Mar, R. A. & Rain, M. (2015). Narrative fiction and expository nonfiction differentially predict verbal ability. Scientific Studies of Reading, 19, 419-433.

Fong, K., Mullin, J. B., & Mar, R. A. (2015). How exposure to literary genres shapes attitudes toward gender roles and sexual behaviour. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 9, 274-285.

Chow, H. M., Mar, R. A., Xu, Y., Liu, S., Wagage, S., & Braun, A. R. (2015). Personal experience with narrated events modulates functional connectivity within visual and motor systems during story comprehension. Human Brain Mapping, 36, 1494-1505.

Fong, K. & Mar, R. A. (2015). What does my avatar say about me?: Inferring personality from avatars. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 237-249

⬇︎ Supplementary Materials

Hassabis, D., Spreng, R. N., Rusu, A. A., Robbins, C. A., Mar, R. A. & Schacter, D. L. (2014). Imagine all the people: How the brain creates and uses personality models to predict behavior. Cerebral Cortex, 24, 1979-1987.


Rain, M. & Mar, R. A. (2014). Measuring reading behaviour: Examining the predictive validity of print-exposure checklists. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 32, 93-108.


Maslej, M. M., Rain, M., Fong, K., Oatley, K., & Mar, R. A. (2014). The hierarchical personality structure of aspiring creative writers. Creativity Research Journal, 26, 192-202.


Moran, J. M., Rain, M., Page-Gould, E., & Mar, R. A. (2014). Do I Amuse You? Asymmetric predictors for humor appreciation and humor production. Journal of Research in Personality, 49, 8-13.
  [Request Stimuli, Analysis Script, & Data]


Chow, H. M., Mar, R. A., Xu, Y., Liu, S., Wagage, S., & Braun, A. R. (2014). Embodied comprehension of stories: Interactions between language regions and modality-specific neural systems. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26, 279-295.


Fong, K., Mullin, J. B., & Mar, R. A. (2013). What you read matters: The role of fiction genres in predicting interpersonal sensitivity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7, 370-376.


Nagel, J., Mar, R. A., & San Juan, V. (2013). Authentic Gettier Cases: A reply to Starmans and Friedman. Cognition, 129, 666-669.


Nagel, J., San Juan, V., & Mar, R. A. (2013). Lay denial of knowledge for justified true beliefs. Cognition, 129, 652-661.


Xu, X., Mar, R. A., & Peterson, J. B. (2013). Does cultural exposure partially explain the association between personality and political orientation? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1497-1517.


Mason, M. F., Brown, K., Mar, R. A. & Smallwood, J. (2013). Driver of discontent or escape vehicle: The affective consequences of mindwandering. Frontiers in Perception Science, 4, article 477.


Mar, R. A., Spreng, R. N., & DeYoung, C. G. (2013). How to produce personality neuroscience research with high statistical power and low additional cost. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 13, 674-685.


Hirsh, J. B., Mar, R. A., & Peterson, J. B. (2013). Personal narratives as the highest level of cognitive integration. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36, 216-217.


Soibel, A., Fong, K., Mullin, J. B., Jenkins, G., & Mar, R. A. (2012). Is self-monitoring related to social comparison? It depends how you ask. Individual Differences Research, 4, 193-201.


Tackett, J. L., Slobodskaya, H. R., Mar, R. A., Deal, J., Halverson Jr., C. F., Baker, S. R., Pavlopoulos, V., Besevegis, E., & Wen, L. (2012). The hierarchical structure of childhood personality in five countries: Continuity from early childhood to early adolescence. Journal of Personality, 80, 1-33.


Oatley, K., Mar, R. A., & Djikic, M. (2012). The psychology of fiction: Present and future. In I. Jaen & J. Simon (Eds.), Cognitive Literary Studies: Current Themes and New Directions (pp. 235-249). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.


Hirsh, J. B., Mar, R. A., & Peterson, J. B. (2012). Psychological entropy: A framework for understanding uncertainty-related anxiety. Psychological Review, 119, 304-320.


Mar, R. A., Mason, M. F., & Litvack, A. D. (2012). How daydreaming relates to life satisfaction, loneliness, and social support: The importance of gender and daydream content. Consciousness and Cognition, 21, 401-407.


Spreng, R. N. & Mar, R. A. (2012). I remember you: A role for memory in social cognition and the functional neuroanatomy of their interaction. Brain Research, 1428 , 43-50.


Fong, K. & Mar, R. A. (2011). Exposure to narrative fiction versus expository nonfiction: Diverging social and cognitive outcomes. In F. Hakemulder (Ed.), De stralende lezer; wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar de invloed van het lezen. [The radiant reader; scientific research concerning the influence of reading] (pp. 55-68). Delft, NL: Eburon Academic.


Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., Djikic, M., & Mullin, J. (2011). Emotion and narrative fiction: Interactive influences before, during, and after reading. Cognition & Emotion, 25, 818-833.


Mar, R. A., Peskin, J., & Fong, K. (2011). Literary Arts and the Development of the Life Story. In T. Habermas (Ed.), The Development of Autobiographical Reasoning, New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 131, 73-84.


Mar, R. A. (2011). Deconstructing empathy. Emotion Review, 3, 113-114.


Mar, R. A. (2011). The neural bases of social cognition and story comprehension. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 103-134.



Rabin, J. S., Gilboa, A., Stuss, D. T., Mar, R. A., & Rosenbaum, R. S. (2010). Common and unique neural correlates of autobiographical memory and theory of mind. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 1095-1111.


Mar, R. A., Tackett, J. L., & Moore, C. (2010). Exposure to media and theory-of-mind development in preschoolers. Cognitive Development, 25, 69-78


Peskin, J., Mar, R. A., & Bischoff, T. (2009). Advanced social cognition in the literary arts. In C. Milbraith & C. Lightfoot (Eds.), The Arts and Human Development (pp. 249-257). New York, NY: Routledge.


Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., & Peterson, J. B. (2009). Exploring the link between reading fiction and empathy: Ruling out individual differences and examining outcomes. Communications, 34, 407-428.

  ⬇︎ Supplementary Materials: Correlations between Big Five Personality and Exposure to Fiction and Nonfiction


Derrfuss, J. & Mar, R. A. (2009). Lost in localization: The need for a universal coordinate database. NeuroImage, 48, 1-7.
(PDF includes 4 commentaries by Hamilton, Nielsen, Van Essen, Laird, Lancaster, and Fox.)



Spreng, R. N., Mar, R. A., & Kim, A. S. N. (2009). The common neural basis of autobiographical memory, prospection, navigation, theory of mind and the default mode: a quantitative meta-analysis. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 489-510.


Hynes, C. A. & Mar, R. A. (2009). A case study of long-term cognitive and social functioning following a right temporal lobectomy in infancy. NeuroCase, 15, 37-46.


Spreng, R. N., McKinnon, M. C., Mar, R. A., & Levine B. (2009). The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire: A factor-analytic solution to multiple empathy measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 91, 62-71.


Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., & Djikic, M. (2008). Effects of reading on knowledge, social abilities, and selfhood: Theory and empirical studies. In S. Zyngier, M. Bortolussi, A. Chesnokova, & J. Auracher (Eds.). Directions in Empirical Literary Studies: In honor of Willie van Peer (pp. 127-137). Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamins. (uncorrected proof)





Mar, R. A. & Oatley, K. (2008). The function of fiction is the abstraction and simulation of social experience. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 173-192.


Mar, R. A., Kelley, W. M., Heatherton, T. F., & Macrae, C. N. (2007). Detecting agency from the biological motion of veridical versus animated agents. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2, 199-205.

Mar, R. A., & Macrae, C. N. (2006). Triggering the intentional stance. In G. Bock & J. Goode (Ed.). Empathy and Fairness. Novartis Symposium no. 278 (pp. 110-119, Discussion 119-132). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Mar, R. A., Oatley, K., Hirsh, J., dela Paz, J., & Peterson, J. B. (2006). Bookworms versus nerds: Exposure to fiction versus non-fiction, divergent associations with social ability, and the simulation of fictional social worlds. Journal of Research in Personality, 40, 694-712.


Mar, R. A., DeYoung, C. G., Higgins, D. M. & Peterson, J. B., (2006). Self-liking and self-competence separate self-evaluation from self-deception: Associations with personality, ability, and achievement. Journal of Personality, 74, 1047-1078


Oatley, K., & Mar, R. A. (2005). Evolutionary pre-adaptation and the idea of character in fiction. Culture and Evolutionary Psychology (Special Issue: Evolutionary perspectives on aesthetic and emotional processes; G. Cupchik, Ed.), 3, 181-196.

Mar, R. A. (2004). The neuropsychology of narrative: Story comprehension, story production and their interrelation. Neuropsychologia, 42, 1414-1434