Subjective experience of poetry: Latent structure and differences between experts and non-experts

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  • We present a series of studies investigating subjective experience of poetry in expert and non
    expert readers. In the preliminary study, literature and psychology students produced adjectives descriptive of poetry. Separate lists of adjectives with 5 point Likert type scales, one for experts, another for non experts, were created based on their responses. In a series of three subsequent poem rating studies, we show (1) that a more complex factor structure of subjective experience of poetry is formed based on expert responses, (2) that the obtained factor structure for non experts becomes more similar, yet not entirely identical to the expert solution when non experts use the adjective list generated by literature students, and (3) that the factor solution obtained for experts remains stable even when a different group of experts rates an entirely different set of poems. The extracted factor structures and their content, differences between expert and non expert readers, and suggestions to how the developed scales of subjective experience of poetry can be used in future studies are discussed.

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