Adults' Judgments of Fictional Story Quality Narratives are commonly used for research and clinical purposes, but the ecological validity of our analyses needs verification. Do our macrostructural and microstructural narrative analysis methods give us an accurate picture of what would generally be considered "story quality"? We addressed this question by using 39 untrained adult judges who ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2002
Adults' Judgments of Fictional Story Quality
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Phyllis Schneider, PhD
    University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Stephanie Winship
    University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Contact author: Phyllis Schneider, PhD, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G4. E-mail: phyllis.schneider@ualberta.ca
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2002
Adults' Judgments of Fictional Story Quality
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 372-383. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/029)
History: Received September 28, 2001 , Accepted January 8, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2002, Vol. 45, 372-383. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/029)
History: Received September 28, 2001; Accepted January 8, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 15

Narratives are commonly used for research and clinical purposes, but the ecological validity of our analyses needs verification. Do our macrostructural and microstructural narrative analysis methods give us an accurate picture of what would generally be considered "story quality"?

We addressed this question by using 39 untrained adult judges who were presented with sets of brief stories, each set constructed to vary on a single story aspect (story grammar elements, story grammar structural pattern, referring expressions, or connectives). Judges ranked the stories in each set from best to worst. Results indicate that judges were generally sensitive to story features commonly used in narrative analyses, including characters' thoughts and feelings, goal-directedness, adequacy of referent introductions, and connectedness of clauses. However, they failed to make distinctions between stories that differed in types of connectives or referring expressions and had mixed reactions to description in stories.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Philine Hillas for her assistance with data collection. We would also like to thank Maya Hickmann, who wrote the original versions of many of the stories we used.
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