Visualizing Bibliotherapy: Applying a Mixed-Methods Approach to Collection Development Using Digital Tools
1 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2020
Date Written: February 21, 2020
Our socio-cognitive evolution has allowed us to develop those skills necessary for navigating the complexities inherent in social situations, permitting us to understand, among other things, another’s state of mind. While recent research from the neurosciences suggest that reading fiction may improve our socio-cognitive abilities, known as theory of mind (ToM) processing, no studies have identified the specific textual features that recruit these processes. Discovering those textual features that activate our ToM processing is of interest to the field of library and information science since it may be used for collection development purposes, especially in the practice of bibliotherapy. To test this hypothesis, this paper employed a mixed-methods approach called empirical simulation to identify those specific textual features that engage our ToM processes. This analysis found that a small group of texts known to activate ToM processing shared certain textual features, and that these textual features can then be used to locate previously unidentified books useful for bibliotherapy.
Keywords: Bibliotherapy, collection development, medical librarianship
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