Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4372
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4380
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Building on findings in evolutionary psychology, we constructed a model of human nature and used it to illuminate the evolved psychology that shapes the organization of characters in nineteenth-century British novels. Characters were rated on the web by 519 scholars and students of Victorian literature. Rated categories include motives, criteria for selecting marital partners, personality traits, and the emotional responses of readers. Respondents assigned characters to roles as protagonists, antagonists, or associates of protagonists or antagonists. We conclude that protagonists and their associates form communities of cooperative endeavor. Antagonists exemplify dominance behavior that threatens community cohesion. We summarize results from the whole body of novels and use them to identify distinctive features in the novels of Jane Austen.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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