Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4372
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4380
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study utilizes texts which sit between the literary and non-literary to explore the outcomes and mechanisms of literariness. Literariness can be activated by (a) linguistic foregrounding and (b) paratextual specification. In a 2 × 2 design, manipulated versions of two soldier narratives were produced (poetry/fiction; poetry/fact; prose/fiction; prose/poetry). 215 participants were randomly assigned to read one of the textual versions and respond to rating scales dealing with perception of textual features, empathy, sympathy, and cognitive perspective-taking. The results show that poetic form elicits significantly higher ratings for empathy and sympathy and that paratextual information specifying that a text is factual elicits significantly higher ratings for empathy and cognitive perspective-taking. Two structural equation models were defined: (a) a literariness model and (b) a factual accuracy model. The results suggest an additive dual model of processing in which both poetic form and factual definition contribute to outcomes characteristic of literariness. These results offer some support for the hypotheses of the Neuro-Cognitive Poetics Model proposed by (Jacobs, 2011).


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Altmann, U., Bohrn, I. C., Lubrich, O., Menninghaus, W., & Jacobs, A. M.
    (2014) Fact vs fiction: How paratextual information shapes our reading processes. SCAN, 9, 22–29.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Busselle, R., & Bilandzic, H.
    (2009) Measuring narrative engagement. Media Psychology, 12(4), 321–347. doi:  10.1080/15213260903287259
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15213260903287259 [Google Scholar]
  3. Erlich, V.
    (1981) Russian formalism: History-doctrine (3rd ed.) New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Hakemulder, F.
    (2000) The moral laboratory: Experiments examining the effects of reading literature on social perception and moral self-concept. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins. 10.1075/upal.34
    https://doi.org/10.1075/upal.34 [Google Scholar]
  5. Hanauer, D.
    (1996) Integration of phonetic and graphic features in poetic text categorization judgments. Poetics, 23, 363–380. doi:  10.1016/0304‑422X(95)00010‑H
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-422X(95)00010-H [Google Scholar]
  6. (1998a) Reading poetry: An empirical investigation of formalist, stylistic and conventionalist claims. Poetics Today19, 565–580. doi:  10.2307/1773260
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1773260 [Google Scholar]
  7. (1998b) The genre-specific hypothesis of reading: Reading poetry and reading encyclopedic items. Poetics26(2), 63–80. doi:  10.1016/S0304‑422X(98)00011‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-422X(98)00011-4 [Google Scholar]
  8. (2013) Experiencing the Blitz: A poetic representation of a childhood in wartime London. Qualitative Inquiry, 20(5), 584–599. doi:  10.1177/1077800413489536
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800413489536 [Google Scholar]
  9. Hanauer, D. I.
    (2015) Being in the Second Iraq War: A poetic ethnography. Qualitative Inquiry, 21(1), 83–106. doi:  10.1177/1077800414542697
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800414542697 [Google Scholar]
  10. Hoorn, J.
    (1997) A Renaissance perspective on the empirical study of literature. InD. Schram and G. Steen (Eds.), The psychology and sociology of literature (pp.67–74). Edmonton, Canada: University of Alberta.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M.
    (1999) Cutoff criteria for fit indices in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55. doi:  10.1080/10705519909540118
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10705519909540118 [Google Scholar]
  12. Jacobs, A. M.
    (2011) Neurokognitive poetik: elemente einesmodells des literarischen lesens (Neurocognitive poetics: Elements of a model of literary reading). InR. Schrottand & A. M. Jacobs (Eds.), Gehirn und Gedicht: Wie Wir Unsere Wirklichkeiten Konstruieren (Brain and poetry: How we construct our realities) (pp.492–520): München, Germany: Carl Hanser Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. (2015a) Towards a neurocognitive poetics model of literary reading. InR. Willems (Ed.), Towards a cognitive neuroscience of natural language use. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00186
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00186 [Google Scholar]
  14. (2015b) Neurocognitive poetics: Methods and modals for investigating the neuronal and cognitive-affective bases of literature reception. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 1–22. doi:  10.3389/fnhum.2015.00186
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00186 [Google Scholar]
  15. Jakobson, Roman
    , Linguistics and Poetics, in: Thomas Sebeok (ed.) Style in Language, New York 1960, 350–377.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Kidd, D. C., & Castano, E.
    (2013) Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science, 342(6156), 377–380. doi:  10.1126/science.1239918
    https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1239918 [Google Scholar]
  17. Koopman, E. M., & Hakemulder, F.
    (2015) Effects of literature on empathy and self-reflection: A theoretical-empirical framework. Journal of Literary Theory, 9(1), 79–111. doi:  10.1515/jlt‑2015‑0005
    https://doi.org/10.1515/jlt-2015-0005 [Google Scholar]
  18. Mar, R. A., & Oatley, K.
    (2008) The function of fiction is the abstraction and simulation of social experience. Perspective on Psychological Science, 3(3), 173–192. doi:  10.1111/j.1745‑6924.2008.00073.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00073.x [Google Scholar]
  19. McQuarrie, Edward F. & Phillips, Barbara J.
    (2005) INDIRECT PERSUASION IN ADVERTISING: How Consumers Process Metaphors Presented in Pictures and Words, Journal of Advertising, 34:2, 7–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Miall, David & Kuiken, Don
    (1994) Foregrounding, Defamiliarization, and Affect: Response to Literary Stories, Poetics22, 389–407. 10.1016/0304‑422X(94)00011‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-422X(94)00011-5 [Google Scholar]
  21. Miall, D. S., & Kuiken, D.
    (1999) What is literariness? Three components of literary reading. DiscourseProcesses, 28(2), 121–138. doi:  10.1080/01638539909545076
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638539909545076 [Google Scholar]
  22. Mukařovský, Jan
    (1976) On Poetic Language. The Peter de Ridder Press: Lisse.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Sopčák, P.
    (2007) ‘Creation from nothing’: A foregrounding study of James Joyce’s drafts for Ulysses. Language and Literature, 16(2), 183–196. doi:  10.1177/0963947007075984
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947007075984 [Google Scholar]
  24. van Peer, W.
    (1986) Stylistics and psychology: Investigations in foregrounding. London, United Kingdom: Croom Helm.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Zwaan, R. A.
    (1996) Toward a model of literary comprehension. InB. K. Britton & A. C. Graesser (Eds.), Models of understanding text (pp.241–255). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ethnography; foregrounding; literariness; paratextual information; poetry
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error