Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4372
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4380
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  • Mood-empathic and aesthetic responses in poetry reception

    A model-guided, multilevel, multimethod approach

  • Author(s): Arthur M. Jacobs 1, 2, 3 , Jana Lüdtke 3 , Arash Aryani 3 , Burkhard Meyer-Sickendieck 4  and Markus Conrad 5
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    1 Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion (D.I.N.E.), Berlin
    2 Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Berlin (CCNB), Berlin
    3 Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
    4 Department of Philosophy & Humanities, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany
    5 Department of Cognitive, Social and Organizational Psychology, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain
  • Source: Scientific Study of Literature, Volume 6, Issue 1, Jan 2016, p. 87 - 130
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/ssol.6.1.06jac
    • Version of Record published : 14 Dec 2016


In the present study we investigate factors shaping poetry reception at multiple levels of analysis. We use both qualitative and quantitative means for describing structural aspects of poems, scales for assessing subjective dimensions, as well as behavioral and peripheral-physiological measures. Applying such mixed analyses we tested three hypotheses derived from the of literary reading ( Jacobs, 2011 , 2015a , 2015b ): (a) the hypothesis stating that textual features at four relevant levels of textual analysis (supralexical, interlexical, lexical and sublexical) affect empathic/immersive and aesthetic-liking processes of poetry reception at all three levels of measurement (experiential, peripheral-physiological, and behavioral); (b) the hypothesis stating that poems expressing moods of persons, atmospheres, situations, or objects should engage readers to mentally simulate and affectively resonate with the depicted state of affairs (see also Lüdtke et al., 2014 ); and (c) the hypothesis stating that poems with a high amount of foregrounding facilitate aesthetic liking responses. The results are in line with all three hypotheses and raise a number of questions for future research on poetry reception.


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