The Prediction of Sensitivity towards Uncanniness: An Applied Psychological Study on Novel Readers in the Light of Anthropomorphism and Attitudes towards Thrownness
IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, Vol. 180, No. 1, 012248 (2017)
8 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 26, 2017
Uncanny elements are often found in the art works, especially in fiction literature. In particular, uncanniness emphasizes the sense of strangeness or weirdness that comes from something seemingly familiar within an unexpected context; e.g. talking animals contained in a story. People have different levels of sensitivity to the sense. Novels with the fantasy genre have been linked with uncanniness. The preference toward the uncanniness might be associated with magical thinking. Anthropomorphism, the attribution of human character in objects or animals, as a dimension of the thinking, is hypothesized to be able to predict sensitivity to uncanniness. The attitude toward thrownness could also allegedly predict the sensitivity. A positive attitude might function as an escape from, or the compensatory fulfillment of, existential emptiness. Participants of this study were 162 university students (67 males, 95 females, Mage = 20.80 years old; SDage = 1.733 years) of the study program School of Design and Literature at Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta, Indonesia and the University of Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia, who were recruited through purposive sampling technique. The design of this study was correlational-predictive, and the data were obtained through the survey using psychological scales. Multiple linear regression analysis found that anthropomorphism has predictive power in the positive direction, while the attitude toward thrownness is not able to predict the sensitivity to uncanniness. This study has implication for art psychology and life science, about how to increase the enjoyment of readership regarding the factor raising appreciation toward a strange or fear perception experienced by a reader.
Keywords: Uncanniness, Anthropomorphism, Thrownness
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