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Research Forum – Paloma Atencia (UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico)): "Narrative Immersion as an Attentional Phenomenon"

July 02, 2019, 16:15–17:45
S 5 (GW II)

Human beings can be compulsive consumers of stories. Some people see their weekends vanish while binge-watching the latest Netflix series. Others — kids, teenagers and adults — stay up all night unable to close a book until it is finished. This widespread experience of ‘being lost in a narrative’ (Nell 1988), which we are going to call narrative immersion, has been the object of a vast literature in psychology and other disciplines; they have described the phenomenon (Gerrig 1993; Kuijperset alt. 2014; Hakemulder et alt. 2017) and provided evidence of its impact, for example, in persuasion (Green and Brock 1996, 2000). Philosophers have just recently taken up the topic as a line of enquiry, and the tendency has been to account for the phenomenon appealing to aspects of our cognitive architecture and the mental states they propose are behind it. In this paper we argue that these accounts come at a high philosophical cost and it is not clear that they provide satisfactory explanations for the phenomenon. We propose a more parsimonious alternative explanation: we claim that
narrative immersion is first and foremost an attentional phenomenon. [Poster]

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