Cognition and Emotion in Narratives of Redemption: An Automated Analysis

TitleCognition and Emotion in Narratives of Redemption: An Automated Analysis
Publication TypeConference Presentation
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSagi, E, Jones, BK
Secondary Title59th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society
Place PublishedNew Orleans, LA

Redemptive narratives are stories of challenge, failure, or adversity that in some way acknowledge the goodness or personal growth that came of the recounted difficult event. In this paper we use a corpus-statistic based approach to explore the role of cognition and emotion in these narrative arcs. In particular, we trace the shift from negative to positive sentiment (a change in the emotional valence) and vice to virtue (evidence of cognitive, moral processing) within the narrative and compare these with similar narratives that do not present a redemptive arc. Our results suggest that the shift to goodness and growth that is at the core of redemptive narratives is driven by prior cognitive processes more so than emotional ones. We believe this type of analysis can also be used to trace and classify similar narrative arcs and assist with the coding of autobiographical narratives in general.

Citation Keybib_84