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Old 11-23-2017, 11:01 PM   #16
crich70
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Hmmm I think I have an idea. I've spent precious little effort and will to comprehend on many a book, because I just fell asleep instantly trying to read them. They were not science fiction though...
That also might depend on where a person is at the time too. If a person is lying in bed for example while trying to read they are probably more likely to fall asleep than if they are sitting up in their favorite chair.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:43 PM   #17
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Literary fiction is judged by the subtle playing with words.

Science Fiction is about the playing with ideas.

Playing with ideas required you to think. Playing with words does not.

Case closed.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:44 PM   #18
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I disagree with the findings of this. One of the books that I completely read this year was "Men Like Gods" by H.G. Wells. It might be 95 years old (published in 1923) but it was both a rich novel and a good science fiction novel [read the Dover Thrift version & got the ebook on sale. Was well worth the few dollars I paid]
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sirtel View Post
Hmmm I think I have an idea. I've spent precious little effort and will to comprehend on many a book, because I just fell asleep instantly trying to read them. They were not science fiction though...
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
That also might depend on where a person is at the time too. If a person is lying in bed for example while trying to read they are probably more likely to fall asleep than if they are sitting up in their favorite chair.
The place can have an effect, but I bet I could catch myself nodding off in a chair trying to read one of the books Sirtel mentions, then go straight to bed, open a good science fiction book, and be riveted awake.

Last edited by j.p.s; 11-24-2017 at 01:11 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:32 AM   #20
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Lots of comments here that have nothing to do with the study. They took the same stories in both cases, and just replaced "marker words" that made the work either literary fiction (narrative realism) or science fiction. The exact versions were published in the second blog, so anybody can read them and compare. The people surveyed didn't try as hard to get the full meaning when reading the science fiction versions. That's the conclusion from the study, that people take it easier when reading genre fiction.

So all you gripers, stop taking it easy and at least read about the study before complaining. It's not genre fiction, so you'll need to concentrate a bit.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:42 AM   #21
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Lots of comments here that have nothing to do with the study. They took the same stories in both cases, and just replaced "marker words" that made the work either literary fiction (narrative realism) or science fiction. The exact versions were published in the second blog, so anybody can read them and compare. The people surveyed didn't try as hard to get the full meaning when reading the science fiction versions. That's the conclusion from the study, that people take it easier when reading genre fiction.

So all you gripers, stop taking it easy and at least read about the study before complaining. It's not genre fiction, so you'll need to concentrate a bit.
I read about the study shortly after the first post. And I am still of the same opinion as before. If the person reading the stories was not a fan of SF, then I suppose it's only natural he or she didn't pay as much attention to the story with SF elements. I would have yawned reading the story without those elements.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:44 AM   #22
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Sounds like we now have "reading snobs". Those who think their preferred type of book is superior to someone else's preference. I'm pretty sure I have a lot more fun in my reading than they do in theirs. I kind of feel sorry for them actually. While I'm having a jolly good time reading a rollicking adventure, they're probably off doing more proper things, like reading politician autobiographies and ironing their underwear.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:55 AM   #23
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Sounds like we now have "reading snobs". Those who think their preferred type of book is superior to someone else's preference. I'm pretty sure I have a lot more fun in my reading than they do in theirs. I kind of feel sorry for them actually. While I'm having a jolly good time reading a rollicking adventure, they're probably off doing more proper things, like reading politician autobiographies and ironing their underwear.
Read about the study. It's not what you think it is. And read the author's blog; it isn't designed to push emotional buttons like newspaper articles are.

Last edited by rkomar; 11-24-2017 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:57 AM   #24
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I read about the study shortly after the first post. And I am still of the same opinion as before. If the person reading the stories was not a fan of SF, then I suppose it's only natural he or she didn't pay as much attention to the story with SF elements. I would have yawned reading the story without those elements.
So why aren't people as bored when reading the narrative realism versions of the same boring stories?
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:09 AM   #25
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So why aren't people as bored when reading the narrative realism versions of the same boring stories?
Because most people are not fans of science fiction? SF fans are probably a minority in every totally random sampling.
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:41 AM   #26
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The study isn't about the effects of reading SF, it is about the effects of the reader having anti-SF biases.

From one of the author's of the study:
Quote:
“So when readers who are biased against SF read the word ‘airlock’, their negative assumptions kick in – ‘Oh, it’s that kind of story’ – and they begin reading poorly. So, no, SF doesn’t really make you stupid. It’s more that if you’re stupid enough to be biased against SF you will read SF stupidly.”
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:23 AM   #27
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I'm sure that the results are mostly explained by many people's reactions to SF. However, I'm a SF (and mystery) fan, yet the study agrees with my experience, as well. I often read genre stories when I just want to be entertained without having to expend the effort to fully comprehend every line. I feel as if genre novels are for entertainment while other books provide something to learn, at least when I'm trying to decide what I'm going to read next. If I'm getting that feeling whenever it's time to start another book, it can't just be attributed to "snobbishness".
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:35 AM   #28
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I'm sure that the results are mostly explained by many people's reactions to SF. However, I'm a SF (and mystery) fan, yet the study agrees with my experience, as well. I often read genre stories when I just want to be entertained without having to expend the effort to fully comprehend every line. I feel as if genre novels are for entertainment while other books provide something to learn, at least when I'm trying to decide what I'm going to read next. If I'm getting that feeling whenever it's time to start another book, it can't just be attributed to "snobbishness".
I'm afraid I don't quite agree with you there. Of course I read genre fiction for entertainment, and I also read nonfiction books for learning new things. But no matter what and why I read, if I'm interested in it, I want to comprehend every line, every sentence. Even if it's pure escapism. Only when the book is boring or its subject matter of no particular interest to me, I'll start to skim.

But then, people are different, of course.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:27 AM   #29
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Would like to know where they found these random people.
Usually, when a college professor does such a study, the random people are students of the college and frequently students in his department. That's one of the dirty little secrets of social science studies and why so many studies generate rather slanted results.

My first comment is after reading the paragraphs, I'm rather surprised that anyone did more than scan them.

Here is the first sentence - "Jim takes a deep breath, bracing himself before pushing open the glass door. Mrs. Moyers glances at him once and then drops her eyes to her menu, which she continues reading with improbable intensity ..."

That's horrible writing. Maybe they should have recruited someone from the English department to write something for them, or given the state of universities these days, maybe they did.

Now, if they were to say that certain keywords caused people to read the text with more care, I would agree. But I certainly don't see how they could come up with the conclusion that they did. Frankly, a lot of their assertions seem to be based of subjective criteria and supposition.
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:48 AM   #30
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What the heck does "predispose readers to a less effortful and comprehending mode of reading" mean? Does it mean that you can lay on your back on the bed and read without any sweating because of "less effortful" activity? Frankly that comment is worse than just silly.
It sounds like gobble-dee-gook to me. But I can see what he means by "effortful" reading. It looks like just about anything he would write would be "effortful" to read.
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