Personal relevance in story reading: a research review.

Anezka Kuzmicov, Katalin Balint

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the past century, emotional responses to literary narratives were regarded as unsystematic, personal and unphilosophical, and therefore largely excluded from scholarly discourse. With the recent cognitive turn in the humanities (Kukkonen & Caracciolo 2014; Caracciolo 2016), however, scholars are increasingly willing to consider the question of actual readers’ responses to literary texts. Theories of emotions in reading have become more sophisticated (Miall 2011; Mar et al. 2011), acknowledging that responding emotionally can help readers better understand and appreciate literature (Robinson 2007). Importantly, these theories also acknowledge the role of individual differences in the personal histories and belief systems of readers as part of their explanations of how emotions emerge. This review article focuses on an undertheorized facilitator of emergent emotions in response to narrative, namely, personal relevance. Thus, it deals with the general mechanics of narrative processing, but with a particular focus on the individual reader, forging connections between humanities and science perspectives on reading.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPoetics Today
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

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Reader
Emotional Response
Individual Differences
Literary Text
Emotion
Personal Narratives
Discourse
Reader Response
Belief Systems

Cite this

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title = "Personal relevance in story reading: a research review.",
abstract = "In the past century, emotional responses to literary narratives were regarded as unsystematic, personal and unphilosophical, and therefore largely excluded from scholarly discourse. With the recent cognitive turn in the humanities (Kukkonen & Caracciolo 2014; Caracciolo 2016), however, scholars are increasingly willing to consider the question of actual readers’ responses to literary texts. Theories of emotions in reading have become more sophisticated (Miall 2011; Mar et al. 2011), acknowledging that responding emotionally can help readers better understand and appreciate literature (Robinson 2007). Importantly, these theories also acknowledge the role of individual differences in the personal histories and belief systems of readers as part of their explanations of how emotions emerge. This review article focuses on an undertheorized facilitator of emergent emotions in response to narrative, namely, personal relevance. Thus, it deals with the general mechanics of narrative processing, but with a particular focus on the individual reader, forging connections between humanities and science perspectives on reading.",
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Personal relevance in story reading: a research review. / Kuzmicov, Anezka; Balint, Katalin.

In: Poetics Today, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - In the past century, emotional responses to literary narratives were regarded as unsystematic, personal and unphilosophical, and therefore largely excluded from scholarly discourse. With the recent cognitive turn in the humanities (Kukkonen & Caracciolo 2014; Caracciolo 2016), however, scholars are increasingly willing to consider the question of actual readers’ responses to literary texts. Theories of emotions in reading have become more sophisticated (Miall 2011; Mar et al. 2011), acknowledging that responding emotionally can help readers better understand and appreciate literature (Robinson 2007). Importantly, these theories also acknowledge the role of individual differences in the personal histories and belief systems of readers as part of their explanations of how emotions emerge. This review article focuses on an undertheorized facilitator of emergent emotions in response to narrative, namely, personal relevance. Thus, it deals with the general mechanics of narrative processing, but with a particular focus on the individual reader, forging connections between humanities and science perspectives on reading.

M3 - Article

JO - Poetics Today

JF - Poetics Today

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