Books, Film & Social Acumen
One team of researchers found that people who read fiction literature and watch films or TV show series are found to be better at empathy and understanding others. Books and film allow us to "live" the lives of the characters and imagine how we would feel in the same situation. We are hopeful towards the characters we learn about and connect with. We desire for them to have the best outcome. The result may be increased social awareness and sensitivity. [Update 10/12/16]: this study was recently replicated and the researchers were unable to prove the hypothesis. However, in a separate study the same investigators found that research volunteers who were able to name/recognize the most authors of literature had the highest social acumen.