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  • The Artifact in the Foreground: Aesthetic Absorption in Narrative LiteratureMoniek M. KuijpersM.M.Kuijpers@uu.nlUtrecht University14-03-2013

  • Todays presentationIntroduction to my PhD Project- Aims of the project- What have I done so far?

    Introduction to the present experiment- Aims- Hypotheses

    Methods- Participants- Procedure- Materials

    (Preliminary) Results


  • Introduction to the PhD project:AimsIdentify textual determinants of two different types of narrative absorption- Narrative absorption in a story > Transportation- Narrative absorption in an artifact > Aesthetic absorption

    Explore the after effects these two experiences elicit in terms of evaluative responses- Enjoyment- Appreciation

  • Introduction to the PhD project:Experimental studies so farDeveloping a new measuring instrument: Narrative Absorption ScaleInterview studyExperiment 1: EFAExperiment 2: CFA

    Discourse structures, transportation and enjoyment- Experiment 3: suspense & curiosity- Experiment 4: suspense, curiosity and emotional engagement

    Deviation, foregrounding and appreciation- Experiment 5: developing foregrounding scale- Experiment 6 (current experiment)

  • Results so far: development of the Narrative Absorption ScaleConceptualization of Narrative Absorption (: .92)Attention (5 items; : .90)Transportation (5 items; : .90)Emotional engagement (5 items; : .91)Mental imagery (3 items; : 79)

    Enjoyment (5 items; : .90) and Appreciation (3 items; : .70)are outcomes

    Narrative absorption is a good predictor of Enjoyment (75 %), and for Appreciation to a lesser extent (49 %)

    Emotional engagement is strongest predictor in both cases, and transportation makes the difference between the two

  • Results so far: discourse structures and their effect on transportation

    Transportation higher in suspense or curiosity stories, but not significantly higher

    The one significant effect on transportation, not through suspense or curiosity but emotional engagement

  • Results so far: discourse structures and emotional engagement

    Replication: positive significant effects of curiosity on transportation (p < .048)

    People who have had low print exposure feel more easily transported (p

  • Shift of focus

    From narrative absorption in the story to narrative absorption in the artifact

    From typical discourse structures to deviation

    From Transportation to Foregrounding

    From enjoyment to appreciation?

  • Introduction to the current experimentDeviation and foregrounding (text and experience)

    QUESTIONS:Can foregrounding and absorption co-occur?

    Can foregrounding be a form of absorption? Or an aspect of absorption?

    What would an absorption experience inspired by deviation look like?

  • Development of new foregrounding sub scalesWhy?Capture different absorption experiences (with literary texts) (or different possible aspects)Not happy with appreciation sub scale of the original Narrative Absorption ScaleNot even sure whether enjoyment and appreciation are part of the experience or whether they are outcomes

    Foregrounding originally conceptualized as: defamiliarization, reflection, appreciation

  • Development of new foregrounding sub scales

    Items from Oliver & Bartsch (2010); Kuiken, Sopcak & Campbell (2013); and new items developed by Kuijpers & Hakemulder or Kuijpers, Campbell & Deckner

    Foregrounding: : .870Appreciation/Interest: : .862 (5 items)Reflection/Insight: : .838 (4 items)Impact/Wonder: : .602 (3 items)

  • Development of new foregrounding sub scales

    Foregrounding Dimension:Appreciation

    I thought this story was interesting artistically (Hakemulder & Kuijpers) I thought it was very rewarding to read this story, because the story was complex at times (Kuijpers)


    While reading this story, the images that came to mind seemed pregnant with meaning (Kuiken, Sopcak & Campbell) I thought this story was meaningful (Oliver & Bartsch)


    I thought the style of the story was striking (Deckner, Campbell & Kuijpers) I thought it was an emotional story (Kuijpers)

  • Introduction to the current experiment

    Focus on deviation in the text

    Take the readers print exposure into account

    Explore the evaluative outcome responses- also upon rereading (Dixon, Bortolussi et al. 1993)

  • Development of new foregrounding sub scales

    First readingSecond readingWith deviationT: - / +

    F: + / -T: - / -

    F: + / +Without deviationT: + / +

    F: - / -T: + / -

    F: - / +

  • Introduction to the current experimentHypotheses:

    1.) Deviation in a text influences the narrative absorption experience (low transportation/high foregrounding)

    2.) When the reader has had low print exposure, deviation will hinder transportation and when the reader has had high print exposure deviation will help transportation

    3.) High print exposure readers will appreciate deviation in a text more than low print exposure readers. However, every type of reader will appreciate deviation more on second reading

  • MethodsParticipants: N=37 (book club members)- 1 male, 36 female- Mean age: 49,51 (SD: 15,24), range from 21 to 67

    Procedure: - In book club environment- read either one of two versions of the same story (randomly distributed)- Fill out the Narrative Absorption Scale and the newly developed Foregrounding Scale (40 items/7 point Likert Scale/no-reverse-scored items)- Repeat the process and then fill out a Dutch version of the ART

  • MethodsMaterials:- Two versions of the first four pages of Salman Rushdies Midnights Children.

    Example of manipulation: first sentence

    OriginalManipulatedI was born in the city of Bombayonce upon a time. No, that wont do, theres no getting away from the date: I was born in Doctor Narlikars Nursing Home on August 15th, 1947. And the time? The time matters, too. Well then: at night. No, its important to be more On the stroke of midnight, as a matter of fact. I was born on August 15th 1947 in Bombay in Doctor Narlikars Nursing Home. Precisely at midnight I was born ()

  • Results: distribution of means

  • Results: distribution of means

  • Results: ANOVAs

    A positive significant effect was found of the deviation text on foregrounding in the first reading (this effect was larger in the high print exposure group, but not significantly so)F (1,34)= 5,41, p < .026

    A similar effect was found in the second reading (there was no difference between low and high print exposure)F (1,34)= 3,75, p < .061

  • Results: ANOVAs on aspects of foregrounding

    Positive significant effects were found of the deviation text on appreciation, p

  • Discussion: foregrounding scale

    Foregrounding scale seems to be able to capture a difference between deviation texts and non-deviation texts

    Appreciation and Reflection are reliable and seem to be working

    Impact subscale is problematic: delete or rephrase?

  • Discussion: effect of deviation on narrative absorptionUse of deviation has an influence on the type of narrative absorption experience (less transportation, more foregrounding) I will include an analysis of the other aspects of NA in the final study

    No significant effects on transportation was it to be expected? (since working with a literary original and manipulating it to non-literary)

    Repeat this experiment the other way around (manipulate a popular text to make it more deviating)

  • Discussion: role of the reader

    No effects found of low vs. high print exposure, why?

    Perhaps, because:Sample was too homogenous (difference between low and high print exposure was too small)Perhaps there are better ways to measure print exposure (How much do you read? How many hours per week do you read?)

  • Discussion: suggestions for further research

    Broader (and larger) sample

    Include different stories (literary to non-literary and non-literary to literary)

    Leave out Impact items and add new foregrounding items


  • Thank you!Bibliography:

    - Dixon, Bortolussi, Twilley & Leung (1993)

    Kuiken, Sopcak & Campbell (2013)

    Oliver & Bartsch (2010)


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