Marloes Mak defends thesis on 29 November
What do people envision during reading, how do they envision things, and how does this process relate to appreciation for stories? The research described in this dissertation shows that readers can indeed envision the events in stories, and that this is a relatively automatic process (readers cannot envision the events in stories on command). That it is at least possible to envision the events in stories can be seen in readers’ eye movements and brain activity.
Furthermore, people differ in this respect: the one shows a much larger effect of the process of envisioning than the other. These individual differences in envisioning are partly associated with individual differences in fantasy or perspective taking. Differences in the process of envisioning are also partly associated with story appreciation and the attention with which stories are read, although this is not as pronounced as the association with fantasy and perspective taking.