Author Topic: Psychology and literature  (Read 1018 times)


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Psychology and literature
« on: October 27, 2018, 11:44:17 PM »
Theorists suggest that literature allows readers to access intimate emotional aspects of a person's character that would not be obvious otherwise.[27] That literature aids the psychological development and understanding of the reader, allowing someone to access emotional states from which they had distanced themselves. D. Mitchell, for example, explains how one author used young adult literature to describes a state of "wonder" she had experienced as a child.[28]

Hogan also explains that the time and emotion which a person devotes to understanding a character's situation makes literature "ecological[ly] valid in the study of emotion".[29] That is literature unites a large community by provoking universal emotions, as well s allowing readers to access cultural aspects that they have not been exposed to, and that produce new emotional experiences.[30] Theorists argue that authors choose literary device according to what psychological emotion they are attempting to describe.[31]

Some psychologists regard literature as a valid research tool, because it allows them to discover new psychological ideas.[32] Psychological theories about literature, such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs have become universally recognized.

Psychologist Maslow's "Third Force Psychology Theory" helps literary analysts to critically understand how characters reflect the culture and the history to which they belong. It also allows them to understand the author's intention and psychology.[33] The theory suggests that human beings possess within them their true "self" and that the fulfillment of this is the reason for living. It also suggests that neurological development hinders actualizing this and a person becomes estranged from his or her true self.[34] Maslow argues that literature explores this struggle for self-fulfillment.[31] Paris in his "Third Force Psychology and the Study of Literature" argues that "D.H. Lawrence's 'pristine unconscious' is a metaphor for the real self".[35] Literature, it is here suggested, is therefore a tool that allows readers to develop and apply critical reasoning to the nature of emotions.