Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction by Keith Oatley

By Keith Oatley

Such Stuff as goals: The Psychology of Fiction explores how fiction works within the brains and mind's eye of either readers and writers.Demonstrates how interpreting fiction can give a contribution to a better realizing of, and the power to alter, ourselvesInformed via the most recent mental study which specializes in, for instance, how identity with fictional characters happens, and the way literature can increase social abilitiesExplores conventional facets of fiction, together with personality, plot, environment, and subject matter, in addition to a few vintage recommendations, reminiscent of metaphor, metonymy, defamiliarization, and cuesIncludes large end-notes, which flooring the paintings in mental studiesFeatures excerpts from fiction that are mentioned in the course of the textual content, together with works by way of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Kate Chopin, Anton Chekhov, James Baldwin, and others

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Sports stars become fictional characters. A novel or a film is not usually more effective than another person in “bringing a world for oneself alive,” but it can be as effective because, in its world-making properties, the element of relationship with another person is maintained, along with the possibilities of a new kind of creativity: the world-making is not just something the author does, readers and audience do it too. Friendship and theory-of-mind Most mammals are social. But we humans are the most social of the mammals.

In terms of individual differences, each child’s ability to represent perspective was consistent across the four stories. Children’s ability to accommodate to an audience was significantly related to the tendency to portray inner worlds of characters. To measure narrative skills in the stories that the children told, Comay assessed representation of the perspective of characters within the story, representation of the communicative needs of an audience, and representation of the narrative text as a self-contained story.

In recent experiments, Nicole Speer and her colleagues had participants read whole short stories while they were in an fMRI scanner. When readers were engaged in a story, the researchers found that, at the points in which the story said a protagonist undertook an action, activation of the brain occurred in the part which the reader himself or herself would use to undertake the action. So, when the story-protagonist pulled a light cord, a region in the frontal lobes of the reader’s brain associated with grasping things was activated.

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