Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Does narrative perspective influence readers’ perspective-taking? An empirical study on free...

Download

A- A+
dyslexia friendly

Research

Does narrative perspective influence readers’ perspective-taking? An empirical study on free indirect discourse, psycho-narration and first-person narration

Authors:

Susanna Salem ,

University of Goettingen, CRC “Text Structures”, DE
X close

Thomas Weskott,

University of Goettingen, CRC “Text Structures”, DE
X close

Anke Holler

University of Goettingen, CRC “Text Structures”, DE
X close

Abstract

It is often assumed that narrating a story from the protagonist’s perspective increases the readers’ inclination to take over this perspective. In a questionnaire study, we examined to which degree different textual modes of narration (a) increase the degree to which the reader can generally relate to the protagonist (what we will call relatedness), (b) make the reader prone to imagine the scene from the spatial point-of-view of the protagonist, and (c) enhance the psychological perspective-taking of the reader, measured as identification with the protagonist. We employed two different types of texts—one literary and one non-literary—and tested them in four different modes of narration: free indirect discourse, psycho-narration, first-person narration and external focalization. In terms of the relatedness between the reader and protagonist and spatial perspective-taking the largest differences (descriptively) occurred between external focalization and psycho-narration (p < .05 for relatedness, p < .05 for spatial perspective-taking) and between external focalization and first-person narration (p < .05 for relatedness, for spatial perspective-taking p < .1). Identification, measured with items from a questionnaire on reading experience (Appel et al. 2002), was highest for first-person narration. Here, the difference between first-person narration and external focalization turned out significant only after including dispositional empathy, thematic interest for the text and attention during reading as covariates. Results for the other two perspective-taking measures were unaffected by the inclusion of the same covariates. In conclusion, our data show that first-person and psycho-narration increased the tendency to take over the perspective of the protagonist, but FID did not.

 

This article is part of the special collection: Perspective Taking

How to Cite: Salem, S., Weskott, T. & Holler, A., (2017). Does narrative perspective influence readers’ perspective-taking? An empirical study on free indirect discourse, psycho-narration and first-person narration. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics. 2(1), p.61. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.225
65
Views
44
Downloads
Published on 28 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus