Friday, June 18, 2010

The Mysterious Mind

The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its PoliticsI've been searching for a helpful theoretical/methodological perspective to use in one of my research projects on mysteries.  I think I found a perspective.  In an unrelated political communication research project, a co-author and I are using frame analysis.  As part of the political comm research, I've been reading George Lakoff's book, The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics. The following quote from Lakoff's book lead me to the obvious thought of applying frame analysis to mysteries.
"Frames are among the cognitive structures we think with.  For example, when you read a murder mystery, there is a typical frame with various kinds of characters: the murderer, victim or victims, possible accomplices, suspects, a motive, a murder weapon, a detective, clues.  And there is a scenario in which the murder murders the victim and is later caught by the detective" (p. 22).
I particularly like how Lakoff and others root their discussion of frames and metaphors in biology (brain physiology).  As to whether this will be a fruitful approach, we'll see.  It should be helpful given my specific interest in studying the structure of mysteries.

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