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Bad Fiction and the Brain. The Effect of Intentionally Bad Written Fiction on the Brain

Pilz, Zsofia
eds.: Bartsch, Sabine ; Gius, Evelyn ; Müller, Marcus ; Rapp, Andrea ; Weitin, Thomas (2023)
Bad Fiction and the Brain. The Effect of Intentionally Bad Written Fiction on the Brain.
doi: 10.26083/tuprints-00024719
Book, Primary publication, Publisher's Version

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Item Type: Book
Type of entry: Primary publication
Title: Bad Fiction and the Brain. The Effect of Intentionally Bad Written Fiction on the Brain
Language: English
Date: 17 October 2023
Place of Publication: Darmstadt
Series: Digital Philology | Evolving Scholarship in Digital Philology
Series Volume: 6
Collation: 4, 70 Seiten
DOI: 10.26083/tuprints-00024719

How does the human brain react to reading intentionally poorly written fiction? This question is to be explored within this thesis, both theoretical inquiries and empirical data are used to answer the question. For this purpose, a simultaneous eye-tracking and electroencephalography experiment is conducted to measure the reception of bad fiction on readers.

First, a theoretical overview of the topic of fanfiction is given, i.e. what kind of texts are written by fans and can be found in large quantities on the internet. In the context of this thesis, the fandom related to Harry Potter plays an essential role, which is why the subject of Harry Potter is explained in this chapter as well. Chapter 5 then introduces the internal fanfiction genre of bad fiction. This forms the object of investigation of this thesis, and in chapter 5 the theoretical background to bad fiction is presented. Although bad fiction is a category of its own, parallels to other genres can be drawn to a certain degree, and these parallels will be explained in chapter 5 as well.

Chapters 6 and 7 focus on the measurement procedures used in the empirical experiment. The first measurement method records eye movements with the help of an eye tracker and uses this data for analysis. To enable a better understanding of the data obtained, a detailed explanation is given of the parameters to be considered in an eye-tracking experiment, which eye movements can be measured and to what extent these provide information about reception. In chapter 7, the focus is on the second measurement method used, namely electroencephalography. Here, the neuronal activity in the brain of the test subject is measured with the help of electrodes. This chapter provides an overview of the measurement procedure, i.e. which parameters need to be taken into account. It also explains in detail what can be measured with the help of electroencephalography and what the limitations are.

In preparation for this thesis, a pilot study of the experiment has already been conducted and subsequently changes in the experiment setup were made. The results of the pilot study are therefore briefly explained in chapter 8, as are the changes that were implemented.

Chapter 9 focuses on presenting and explaining the final experiment design. In addition, a questionnaire was designed for the experiment, which is also presented in this chapter along with the hypotheses.

In chapter 10 the procedure of the experiment is presented, i.e. how the working time of the experimenters is distributed and what should be considered when working with subjects in a simultaneous eye-tracking and EEG experiment. This is followed by the analysis of the recorded data. In chapter 11, the focus is on evaluating the questionnaire, so that metadata and experiment-specific questions are summarized and analysed.

Before the EEG data can be analysed, it first must be cleaned and transferred to a time-frequency domain. These steps are explained in detail in chapter 12. After the data is cleaned, in chapter 13 the investigation of previously established hypotheses takes place with the inclusion of EEG data and the questionnaire. Chapter 14, on the other hand, presents the analysis of the eye-tracking data in relation to the hypotheses created. Subsequently, the results are discussed in Chapter 15 and possible interpretations are given. Finally, everything is summarized in the conclusion and an outlook for potential further data evaluation and future investigation options is given.

Uncontrolled Keywords: digital philology, digital humanities, fanfiction, reading, eye-tracking, electroencephalography, EEG, cognitiion, digital literary studies, digitale Literaturwissenschaft
Status: Publisher's Version
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-247190
Classification DDC: 000 Generalities, computers, information > 000 Generalities
400 Language > 400 Language, linguistics
400 Language > 420 English
400 Language > 430 German
800 Literature > 800 Literature, rhetoric and criticism
800 Literature > 820 English literature
800 Literature > 830 German literature
Divisions: 02 Department of History and Social Science > Institut für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Germanistik - Computerphilologie und Mediävistik
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2023 08:19
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2023 07:38
URI: https://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/24719
PPN: 512649456
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