University of Twente Student Theses


Storyworld identity : investigating reader engagement with a graphic novel

Böhler, C.M.B. (2020) Storyworld identity : investigating reader engagement with a graphic novel.

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Abstract:Readers of fiction experience powerful psychological effects from engaging with a narrative. A blending model by Martinez (2018) aims to illustrate the operations that seem to guide the narrative engagement. The model theorizes that two input spaces, the reader’s self-concept, and features of the storyworld character, become combined to a new construct, the storyworld possible self, which allows the reader to take on a new perspective. The theory was tested by Herman and Martinez (2019), who applied the model to investigate students’ responses to a graphic novel. The present study replicated their research with a sample of 6 University students that were asked to engage with a graphic novel and to answer a number of open-ended questions. The aims of the data analysis were (1) to summarize the students’ general impression of the novel, (2) to identify self-concept features (self-schemas and possible selves) that the students had projected into their construal of the story, and (3) to reconstruct their responses, including emotional reactions, to the novel. The reconstruction of the blending processes revealed individual responses. The findings imply that students interpreted the story as a traveling or space exploration scenario and provide further evidence for the functionality of the model.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:17 linguistics and theory of literature, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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