Length x embodiment interaction in readers’ assessment of description imageability
2012 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
We examined the effect of length and explicit reference to embodied interaction, respectively, on the self-reported imageability of literary visual descriptions. Subjects read descriptions of mundane objects, differing with respect to two variables: 1) the amount of visual detail provided; 2) reference to embodied interaction. We found an interaction between the manipulated variables and previous exposure to literary fiction. In subjects who scored low on a measure of previous fiction exposure, additional descriptive detail improved the imageability of all items across the two variables. In subjects who scored high on a measure of previous fiction exposure, the positive imageabiity effect of additional detail was only found for items including a reference to embodied interaction. For descriptions lacking such reference, a reverse effect of additional descriptive detail was found. Our interpretation is that while experienced readers may sense that their visual imagery is offset by static, disembodied descriptions, inexperienced readers may be less sensitive to the engaging potential of embodiment cues, thus reporting a straightforward linear proportion between explicit detail and imageability overall.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123160OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123160DiVA: diva2:872011
13th Biennial Conference of the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media, Montreal, QC