What do dreams have to do with fiction?

Dr. Rich Schweickert discusses the cognitive theories behind dreaming and the psychological consequences and faculties involved. As it turns out, dreaming and reading a novel have quite a bit in common.

Further reading

Schweickert, Rich and Zhuanzhuan Xi. “Theory of Mind and Metamorphoses in Dreams: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Metamorphosis.” Theory of Mind and Literature, Purdue University Press, 2011, pp. 219-28.

Why do we like scary stories?

Dr. Clotilde Landais joins me for a discussion on fear in fiction: why do we keep turning the page in a scary book or watching the scary movie when our physiological impulse is to run away or attack the monster?

Further reading:

Clasen, Mathias. “Monsters Evolve: A Biocultural Approach to Horror Stories.” Review of General Psychology, vol. 16, no. 2, 2012, pp. 222–29.

Landais, Clotilde. Stephen King as a Postmodern Author.Peter Lang Publishing, 2013.

I See What You Mean: Perspective Taking

Dr. Jen William joins me for a discussion on perspective taking and its application to the humanities. How can we watch a movie and feel sad for the characters, even if we fundamentally disagree with them?

Further reading:

Eisenberg, Nancy, Cindy L. Shea, Gustavo Carlo, and George P. Knight. “Empathy-Related Responding and Cognition: A ‘Chicken and the Egg’ Dilemma.” Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development: Volume 2: Research. Ed. William M. Kurtines and Jacob Gewirtz. New York: Psychology Press, 2014. 63-88.

Galinsky, Adam D. and Gordon B. Moskowitz. “Perspective-taking: Decreasing stereotype expression, stereotype accessibility, and in-group favoritism.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78.4 (2000): 708–24.

Husnu, Shenel and Richard J. Crisp. “Perspective-taking mediates the imagined contact effect.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 44 (2015): 29-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.11.005

Jankowiak-Siuda, Kamila, Krystyna Rymarczyk, and Anna Grabowska. “How We Empathize with Others: A Neurobiological Perspective.” Medical Science Monitor: International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research 17.1 (2011): RA18–RA24. PMC. DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881324

Keen, Richard, Monica L. McCoy, and Elizabeth Powell. “Rooting for the Bad Guy: Psychological Perspectives.” Studies in Popular Culture 34.2 (Spring 2012): 129-48.

Selman, Robert L. “Level of Social Perspective Taking and the Development of Empathy in Children: Speculations from a Social‐Cognitive Viewpoint.” Journal of Moral Education 5.1 (1975): 35-43. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305724750050105

Tversky, Barb and Brigette Martin Hard. “Embodied and Disembodied Cognition: Spatial Perspective Taking,” Cognition, vol. 110, no. 1, 2009, pp. 124-129.

William, Jennifer Marston. Cognitive Approaches to German Historical Film: Seeing Is Not Believing. Springer International Publishing, 2017.