Gender and interpretation: An empirical study of reader response to Golden Age literature
AuthorKristainsen, Michael Phillip
AdvisorWilliamsen, Amy R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe objective of this study is to test empirically for affective differences postulated to vary by reader gender in response to literary texts. Eighty participants, composed of equal numbers of male and female English- and Spanish-speakers, were randomly distributed into three experimental groups. Participants in two groups read emotionally-provocative text stimuli, and participants in a control group read an affectively-neutral text stimulus. The provocative text stimuli are excerpts from Cervantes's Persiles y Sigismunda, and the affectively-neutral text stimulus is from Quevedo's Buscon . Participants completed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) and Positive and Negative Affect Schedules (PANAS). A first PANAS measured current moods, and a second one measured moods in general. On completing the second PANAS, participants read the text stimuli. After reading the text stimuli, participants completed a third PANAS to measure their current moods relative to the texts they had just read. The results of this experiment reveal no significant differences between male and female readers, and thus do not support the hypothesis that affective reader-response to literature varies by gender. Implications for reader response-based literary theories are discussed, along with suggestions on how such theories may be refined or modified.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Spanish and Portuguese