Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Levine, Bill

Committee Member/Reader

Chapman, Kate

Committee Member/Second Reader

Long, Christiane

Committee Member/Third Reader

Hare, Laurence


The study of literary devices in the context of published fiction is unusual in psychology; however, some research has suggested that reading time may be influenced by cognitive challenges that come with the extra work that may be necessary to understand the meaning behind an author’s usage of literary devices (Miall & Kuiken, 1994; Egen et al., 2019). Jumping off of this suggestion, this present study aimed to answer the question of whether reading time is influenced by factors such as narrative perspective, the usage of literary devices, a person’s print exposure, and a person’s need for cognition, as well as the relationship between literature exposure (e.g., familiarity) and the process of reading through various forms of figurative language while engaged in a narrative perspective. Finally, this study examined participants’ overall reading time for the singular short story, “Buttony,” by Fiona McFarlane, used in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to take a spectator or protagonist narrative perspective while reading this story before completing the latter tests. This study found that reading time is significantly influenced by perspective and that the more print exposure a participant was found to have, the less time it took for them to read the short story; however, the data analysis for the other variables resulted in the finding of no significant influence on reading time.


narrative transportation, foregrounding, graded salience hypothesis, semantic congruency