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ERIC Number: ED156939
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Fiction and Psychology: An Assessment of the Activity and Disengagement Theories of Aging as Applied to Elderly Protagonists.
Storck, P. A.; And Others
Fiction is one of the richest potential data resources available to the psychologist, but its study presents serious methodological problems. Chief among these problems is the question of whether instruments of measure designed for human subjects may be appropriate to studies of fictional characters who are drawn from the experience and observations of authors. To test the applicability of the activity and the disengagement theories of aging to elderly characters in fiction, six novels were selected from the Current Fiction Catalogue for evaluation on the Life Satisfaction Rating scale. All the novels portrayed a protagonist of 80 years of age or more. An equal number of male and female protagonists were represented in the selection. Results of the evaluation were compared with results from the human subjects' scores taken from the Kansas City Study of Adult Life. No significant differences were found in collective scores. While these findings appear to support the applicability of human quantitative evaluation instruments to fictional characters, other findings in the study provoked qualitative questions. This research suggests the desirability of an instrument which can isolate and measure an interpretative cognitive factor for subjects as well as for fictional characters. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A