ERIC Number: ED236553
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Pedagogical, Psychological, and Literary Applications of Self-Report Inventories.
Matlak, Richard E.; Kerber, Kenneth W.
To determine whether self-report psychological inventories could be used to better understand characters in literature, a psychology instructor and an English instructor arranged their courses so that they both focused on interpersonal relationships. The psychology course emphasized research on attraction, romantic love, and interpersonal relationships, while the English course analyzed the literary representation of male-female relationships in short stories and novels. Psychological inventories were used with 18 students in the two courses to explore (1) a pedagogical hypothesis that Leary's Interpersonal Adjective Checklist would identify problem areas in student interpretation of character motivation in fiction; (2) a psychology-of-reading hypothesis that a significant relationship would exist between a reader's view of human nature, as measured by Wrightman's Philosophy of Human Nature Scale, and his or her description of characters on the Leary Checklist; and (3) a literary hypothesis that the classic categorizing of characters into "round" and "flat" would be corroborated by reader perception of the character's interpersonal behavior on the Leary Checklist. Results supported all three hypotheses, indicated the potential value of using self-report inventories to understand fictional characters, and showed that the interdisciplinary approach enhanced both the teaching and the learning processes. (Charts of data are appended.) (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A