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Narrative Absorption brings together research from the social sciences and Humanities to solve a number of mysteries: Most of us will have had those moments, of being totally absorbed in a book, a movie, or computer game. Typically we do not have any idea about how we ended up in such a state. Nor do we fully realize how we might have changed as we return for the fictional worlds we have visited. The feeling of being absorbed is one of the most illusive and transient feelings, but also one that motivates audiences to spend considerable amounts of time in narrative worlds, and one that is central to our understanding of the effects of narratives on beliefs and behavior. Key specialists inform the reader of this book about the nature of the peculiar state of consciousness during episodes of absorption, the perception of absorption in history, the role of absorption in meaningful experiences with narratives, the relation with related phenomena such as suspense and identification, issues of measurement, and the practical implications, for instance in education-entertainment.
Various fields have worked separately on topics of absorption, albeit using different terminology and methods, but having reached a high level of development and complexity in understanding absorption. Now is the time to bring them together. This volume will be a point of reference for years to come.