The effect of suspense structure on felt suspense and narrative absorption in literature and film

Katalin Bálint, Moniek Kuijpers, Miruna Doicaru

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The present study was to further the understanding of the conceptual relationship between narrative absorption, that is the intense engagement with a story world, and felt suspense, that is the anticipation of a narrative outcome event. To this end, a media comparative online experiment was conducted with a 2 (Media format: film vs. literature) × 2 (Suspense structure: diegetic vs. non-diegetic delay) × 2 (Stories) between subject design. Results revealed a complex relationship among felt suspense, attention, emotional engagement, and transportation, showing the high importance of attention in felt suspense, and the moderating effect of media format and gender. Findings indicate that non-diegetic suspense delay unlike diegetic suspense decreases felt suspense and narrative absorption independently of media format.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNarrative Absorption
EditorsFrank Hakemulder, Moniek Kuijpers, Ed S. Tan, Katalin Bálint, Miruna Doicaru
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Chapter9
Pages177–197
Number of pages20
Volume27
ISBN (Electronic)9789027265135
ISBN (Print)9789027234162
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • absorption
  • narrative
  • suspense
  • suspense delay
  • discourse structure
  • literature
  • film

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