Results of a Single Blind Literary Taste Test with Short Anonymized Novel Fragments

Andreas van Cranenburgh, Corina Koolen


Abstract
It is an open question to what extent perceptions of literary quality are derived from text-intrinsic versus social factors. While supervised models can predict literary quality ratings from textual factors quite successfully, as shown in the Riddle of Literary Quality project (Koolen et al., 2020), this does not prove that social factors are not important, nor can we assume that readers make judgments on literary quality in the same way and based on the same information as machine learning models. We report the results of a pilot study to gauge the effect of textual features on literary ratings of Dutch-language novels by participants in a controlled experiment with 48 participants. In an exploratory analysis, we compare the ratings to those from the large reader survey of the Riddle in which social factors were not excluded, and to machine learning predictions of those literary ratings. We find moderate to strong correlations of questionnaire ratings with the survey ratings, but the predictions are closer to the survey ratings. Code and data: https://github.com/andreasvc/litquest
Anthology ID:
2020.latechclfl-1.14
Volume:
Proceedings of the The 4th Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature
Month:
December
Year:
2020
Address:
Online
Venues:
CLFL | COLING | LaTeCH | LaTeCHCLfL
SIG:
Publisher:
International Committee on Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
121–126
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.latechclfl-1.14
DOI:
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Andreas van Cranenburgh and Corina Koolen. 2020. Results of a Single Blind Literary Taste Test with Short Anonymized Novel Fragments. In Proceedings of the The 4th Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature, pages 121–126, Online. International Committee on Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Results of a Single Blind Literary Taste Test with Short Anonymized Novel Fragments (van Cranenburgh & Koolen, LaTeCHCLfL 2020)
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PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.latechclfl-1.14.pdf
Code
 andreasvc/litquest