At the recent IGEL meetings in Chicago I liked a paper by Candice Burkett about the correlates of more sophisticated interpretations of literary texts. She and coauthor Susan Goldman measured how often students mentioned three kinds of indicators: basic gestures in writing (repetition, semantic) that indicate when to pay attention; rules of rupture (breaks in story continuity); and prominent placement (“When the King died, a gold ring fell out of his hand onto the floor. Vasgo picked it up before anyone noticed.”). They coded answers to a free form thinking aloud session (after first going through a set of questions that evolve to encourage or invite more sophisticated interpretation). Interpretation progresses, in their schema, from understanding that some elements are symbols (the apple signifies knowledge), to discerning that the text may have a theme that is different from the plot and that involves those symbolic interpretation (knowledge of self implies moral self evaluation), to a more abstract thematic interpretation (we have free will and will make choices among immoral options). The study had very low power though with just a sample of 40 so is really was just suggestive. I liked the very straightforward message and the correlational goal. Honestly though I cannot remember any of the correlations! But I liked the clear presentation and methodology and goal to try to measure something that is quite difficult to measure.
Blogs I Follow
- A visit to Bougounam library in #Burkina Faso
- I have evolved to a proud Type 3.7 Stata user, but know that still has problems
- Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
- What an unfortunate example to use to explain reverse correlation technique in social psychology
- Great article by Emily Oster and Geoffrey Kocks on vaccination in California
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