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Reconciling an underlying contradiction in the Distancing-Embracing model

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2017

Gerald C. Cupchik*
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Scarborough, ON Canada M1C 1A4, Canada. Cupchik@utsc.utoronto.cawww.utsc.utoronto.ca/people/cupchik

Abstract

The Distancing-Embracing model proposes that negative emotions embedded in literary works can be rewarding. This is consistent with a holistic ontology in the German Romantic tradition. However, the application of cognitive psychology to explain experiences of aesthetic pleasure is problematic because it is founded on a mechanistic Enlightenment epistemology. The appreciation of negative emotions requires cognitive elaboration and closure, whereas hedonistic reward is contingent on the reader's needs, in the moment, for pleasure or distraction.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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