Between uniqueness in personality traits and differing life experiences, a wide range of interpersonal difference often causes people to view and understand the world through their own personalized lens. People take in outside information and process it according to their own specific schemata and overall frame of mind. The goal of this research was to determine how such interpersonal differences might affect the way in which people interpret literature. Seventy participants were primed with short video clips, pertaining to either aggressive or relaxing material, and then asked to interpret a literary passage. They also completed personality inventories – the Big Five Inventory (BFI) and the Four Dimensional Mood Scale. Analyses of variance indicated significant main effects for the priming condition on the manner in which the literary passage was interpreted. Results approached significance for several interaction effects, including the interaction between neuroticism and priming condition, which suggested that those who scored high on neuroticism were more affected by the action/aggression prime, relative to those who scored lower on neuroticism.
Young, Sarah, ""Wrong in Another Place": Personality, Priming, and the Way We Read Literature" (2015). Psychology Honors Papers. 54.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.