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Narrative aesthetic absorption in audiobooks is predicted by blink rate and acoustic features (Advance online publication)

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Lange,  Elke B.
Department of Music, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

Thiele,  Dominik
Scientific Services, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kuijpers,  Moniek M.
Department of Language and Literature, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;
University of Basel;

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Citation

Lange, E. B., Thiele, D., & Kuijpers, M. M. (2020). Narrative aesthetic absorption in audiobooks is predicted by blink rate and acoustic features (Advance online publication). Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. doi:10.1037/aca0000321.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-2253-4
Abstract
Narrative aesthetic absorption describes a state in which we focus on the story world of a narrative while becoming less aware of our surroundings and ourselves. It is characterized by dimensions such as focused attention, vivid mental imagery, and emotional engagement. In our study, we investigate narrative aesthetic absorption in the context of listening to audiobooks. We asked participants to evaluate their absorption experience during listening to 56 excerpts of audiobooks, and we recorded their eyes to measure saccadic, pupil, and blinking activity. In addition, we analyzed the acoustic features of the audiobook excerpts. To understand the relationships between absorption in audiobooks, eye movement behavior, trait absorption, and acoustic signatures of audiobooks, we fitted linear mixed effect models predicting the subjective experience of absorption. Our results show that absorption was predicted by decreased blink rate, increased articulation rate of the narrator, and trait absorption. Blink rate and trait absorption also predicted valence and liking of the audiobooks. Articulation rate predicted liking and pitch predicted arousal. Being absorbed during audiobook listening shows high similarity with being absorbed during literary reading but less similarity with feeling absorbed while listening to music.