Impact and Fiction
|Duration:||maart 2021 - februari 2024|
|Subsidy provider:||Netherlands eScience Center|
|Remarkable:||Impact & Fiction is the first project to bring together a large-scale analysis of how books are received by readers and how the characteristics of novels influence this reception.|
In the research project Impact & Fiction, researchers from Huygens Institute collaborate with the Netherlands eScience Center to analyze the way fiction influences readers. We use online book reviews to measure the impact that stories have on readers and look for relationships between this impact and textual features that we can identify in novels.
In reviews posted online, readers may describe how they are absorbed or transformed by a story, cry along with a character’s suffering or fall in love with a book’s writing style. We use digital tools to measure this described impact. When looking at novel texts, we develop new metrics to measure textual aspects like mood, surprise and the development of plot and characters.
Impact & Fiction is the first project to bring together a large-scale analysis of how books are received by readers and how the characteristics of novels influence this reception. We use a mix of data from book texts, online book reviews and book lists compiled by readers online to carry out this analysis. These combinations of datasets and perspectives enable us to conduct innovative digital research into the following three research questions:
- How does reading fiction affect or impact readers?
- Which textual properties of books contribute to this impact? We specifically examine textual properties in three categories:
- overall features such as topic and mood
- stylistic features such as dialogue and complexity
- narrative properties relating to character and plot
- How is this impact related to the reader’s reading preferences?
Impact & Fiction is a three-year project funded by the Netherlands eScience Center (project portfolio number ASDI.2020.032). Read more about the project on our website.