Browsing by Subject "literary texts"

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  • Kaakinen, Johanna; Simola, Jaana (2020)
    Thirty-nine participants listened to 28 neutral and horror excerpts of Stephen King short stories while constantly tracking their emotional arousal. Pupil size was measured with an Eyelink 1000+, and participants rated valence and transportation after each story. In addition to computing mean pupil size across 1-sec intervals, we extracted blink count and used detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) to obtain the scaling exponents of long-range temporal correlations (LRTCs) in pupil size time-series. Pupil size was expected to be sensitive also to emotional arousal, whereas blink count and LRTC’s were expected to reflect cognitive engagement. The results showed that self-reported arousal increased, pupil size was overall greater, and the decreasing slope of pupil size was flatter for horror than for neutral stories. Horror stories induced higher transportation than neutral stories. High transportation was associated with a steeper increase in self-reported arousal across time, stronger LRTCs in pupil size fluctuations, and lower blink count. These results indicate that pupil size reflects emotional arousal induced by the text content, while LRTCs and blink count are sensitive to cognitive engagement associated with transportation, irrespective of the text type. The study demonstrates the utility of pupillometric measures and blink count to study literature reception.