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Literature: Empirical Studies

Elsevier Ltd
DOI: 10.1016/b0-08-044854-2/00523-x
  • Aesthetics
  • Canon
  • Censorship
  • Comprehension
  • Creativity
  • Literary Criticism
  • Literary History
  • Literary Theory
  • Literature
  • Metaphor
  • Narrative
  • Narratology
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Publishers
  • Reader Research
  • Reader Response
  • Readers
  • Reception
  • Schema Theory
  • Situation Model
  • Stylistics
  • Thematics
  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences


The empirical study of literature (ESL) concerns all aspects of literary communication. Using methods of the social sciences, researchers test hypotheses concerning the processing, attitudes, and behavior of participants in processes ranging from the production of what are considered literary texts, their mediation, and their reception. One of the central aims of the field is to examine how literary communication differs from (or resembles) other forms of communication. It is an increasingly interdisciplinary domain, with literary scholars, sociologists, psycholinguists, cognitive and social psychologists, and anthropologists combining their insights and methodologies.

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