Aspects of Literary Response: A New Questionnaire
David S. Miall and Don Kuiken
Departments of English and Psychology
University of Alberta
University of Alberta
Research in the Teaching of English, 29, 1995, 37-58.
© National Council of Teachers of English, 1995
Abstract | Introduction | Development of the LRQ | Method | Results and Discussion | Discussion | Authors' Notes | References | Appendix 2: LRQ Items
Therefore, it is appropriate to consider the range of beliefs, attitudes, and predilections that readers report and to develop a psychometrically sound means for assessing such variations. To this end, we have developed the Literary Response Questionnaire (LRQ). Its current version offers a set of low-inference scales that measure different aspects of readers' orientation toward literary texts. The purpose of the present report is to describe development of the LRQ, to review evidence of its reliability and validity, and to offer suggestions for its use in teaching or research settings.
Appendix 2: LRQ Items and Their Primary Factor Loadings
Reading literature makes me sensitive to aspects of my life that I usually ignore (786, personal).
In literature I sometimes recognize feelings that I have overlooked during my daily life (.775, personal).
I often find my shortcomings explored through characters in literary texts (.734, personal).
I find that literature helps me to understand the lives of people that differ from myself (.732, non-personal).
Reading literature often gives me insights into the nature of people and events in my world (.728, non-personal).
I often see similarities between events in literature and events in my own life (.723, personal).
I often find my own motives being explored through characters in literary texts (.715, personal).
I find that certain literary works help me to understand my more negative feelings (.711, personal).
Literature enables you to understand people that you'd probably disregard in normal life (.700, non-personal).
I sometimes find that reading a literary text makes me feel like changing the way I live (.625, personal).
In my reading, I learn to recognize more readily certain types of people or events, i.e., I can see these types more clearly after reading about a particular example in a literary text (.619, non-personal).
When I begin to understand a literary text, it's because I've been able to relate it to my own concerns about life (.602, personal).
Literature often gives special emphasis to those things that make a moral point (.513, non-personal).
Sometimes while reading literature my feelings draw me toward a distinctly unsettling view of life (.512, personal).
Sometimes I feel like I've almost "become" a character I've read about in fiction (.856).
I sometimes have imaginary dialogues with people in fiction (786).
When I read fiction I often think about myself as one of the people in the story (.737).
I sometimes wonder whether I have really experienced something or whether I have read about it in a book (677).
1 actively try to project myself into the role of fictional characters, almost as if I were preparing to act in a play (.652).
Sometimes characters in novels almost become like real people in my life (.647).
After reading a novel or story that I enjoyed, I continue to wonder about the characters almost as though they were real people (.509).
I often see the places in stories I read as clearly as if I were looking at a picture (.800).
I can readily visualize the persons and places described in a novel or short story (.723).
I sometimes think I could draw a map of the places I have read about in a work of fiction (.660).
Sometimes a scene from a story or poem is so clear that I know its smell, its touch, its "feel" (.638).
I often hear dialogue in a novel as though I were listening to an actual conversation (560).
When I read a literary text, a scene that is only partly described often becomes a whole, vividly present place in my mind (.545).
When reading a story, sometimes I can almost feel what it would be like to be there (.515).
I usually hear the tone of speech in a dialogue from a story or novel (498).
Often when I read literary texts, descriptions of smells suggest colors, descriptions of colors suggest feelings, and so on (.468).
Sometimes I like to curl up with a good book just to enjoy myself (840). When I have spare time my favorite activity is reading a novel (.817).
Very often I cannot put down a story until I have finished reading it (.796).
Reading literature is a pleasurable way to spend time when I have nothing else to do (.774).
Reading a story is a wonderful way to relax. (.763).
While reading I completely forget what time it is (.740).
I find that reading literature is a great help in taking my mind off my own problems (666).
I like to become so absorbed in the world of the literary text that I forget my everyday concerns (.608).
Once I've discovered one work by an author I like, I usually try to read all the other works by that author (.579).
I am often so involved in what I am reading that I am no longer aware of myself (.578).
I often wish I had more time for reading literature (.509).
Concern With Author
One of my primary interests in reading literature is to learn about the themes and concerns of a given author (.755).
In reading I like to focus on what is distinctive about the author's style (.742).
One of my primary interests in reading is to learn about the different genres of literature (.727).
I like to see how a particular author's work relates to other literature of the author's period (.726).
When reading I usually try to identify an author's distinctive themes (.701).
One of my primary interests in reading literature is to appreciate the author's understanding of society and culture (.686).
I think literature is especially interesting when it illuminates facts about the author's life (.610).
When I find a work of literature I like, I usually try to find out something about the author (.608).
The challenge of literature is to comprehend the author's unique view of life (.605).
I am often intrigued by an author's literary technique (.508).
I like to see tension building up in the plot of a story (659).
The type of literature I like best tells an interesting story (.635).
I think the most important part of fiction or drama is plot (.619).
When reading a novel, what I most want to know is how the story turns out (.609).
I like it best when a story has an unexpected ending (.600).
I prefer to read fiction in which there is plenty of action (.599).
When reading a novel my main interest is seeing what happens to the characters (.576).
1 find it difficult to read a novel in which nothing much seems to happen (.540).
Rejection of Literary Values
I think people should spend less time talking or writing about literature (.755).
Even if literature were well taught, I think high schools should not devote so much time to it (.738).
For me a work of literature is destroyed by trying to analyze it (.711).
One of the things I dislike most about being a student of literature is the teacher who tells you what a literary text means (.703).
Reading literary texts from past centuries should be left to literary scholars and historians (.623).
1 don't believe that literature is socially relevant (.616).
1 disliked English in high school because most of the texts I was asked to read I would not have chosen myself (.579).
Works of literature often seem to make the issues of life more complicated than they actually are (.491).
If I want to spend time reading, I don't choose "literary" texts (.392).