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The Representation of Fictional Information

Richard J. Gerrig and Deborah A. Prentice
Psychological Science
Vol. 2, No. 5 (Sep., 1991), pp. 336-340
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40062704
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Representation of Fictional Information
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Abstract

Much of the information we encounter every day appears in settings that are clearly marked as fictional (e.g., novels, television, movies). Our studies explore the extent to which information acquired through these fictional worlds is incorporated into real-world knowledge. We used short stories to introduce fictional facts. The first experiment demonstrated that fictional information penetrates into judgments about beliefs, suggesting incorporation. The second experiment demonstrated, nonetheless, that representations of fictional information retain features of compartmentalization. We suggest, accordingly, that readers create hybrid representations of fictional information.

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