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Dissertation Information for Brian W. Sturm

- Brian W. Sturm
- (Alias) Brian Sturm

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Indiana University (USA) (1998)

- Shirley A. Fitzgibbons

- Jean Umiker-Sebeok
- John H. McDowell
- Verna Leah Pungitore

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The entrancing power of storytelling: A systems approach to the storylistening discrete altered state of consciousness

Abstract: Consciousness has been described as both a variety of discrete states and a constantly changing flow. Charles T. Tart has developed the systems approach to consciousness in which he describes a baseline state of "normal," waking consciousness and multiple altered states induced by a disruption of that baseline, and he proposes a model of human consciousness composed of several subsystems and their possible interactions.

This concept of a system of interrelated components proves useful in deciphering the altered state of consciousness associated with listening to a story. When a good story is well told, listeners may enter an altered state similar to light trance: a "storylistening trance." Little research has been done concerning this phenomenon, and the current study drew from multiple disciplines in an attempt to shed light on it. The study was designed to be exploratory and to elicit information concerning the characteristics of the storylistening trance and any influences (positive or negative) that affect it. The methodology was naturalistic, combining interviews and participant observation to explore the subjective perceptions of storylisteners.

The results show that many of these listeners do experience a qualitatively different state while listening to some stories. Characteristics of this state include: story realism; lack of awareness of surroundings; engaged receptive channels (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and emotional); lack or loss of control of the experience; a "placeness" to the experience; and a sense of time distortion. Influences on the trance include: storytelling style; activation of listener's memories; sense of comfort or safety; story content; storyteller's ability and involvement; listener's expectations, preferences, and training; rapport with the storyteller; rhythm; and various distractions. The study concludes with a theoretical model of the storylistening trance showing possible systemic interaction among these components.

MPACT Scores for Brian W. Sturm

A = 1
C = 6
A+C = 7
T = 1
G = 1
W = 1
TD = 1
TA = 0
calculated 2014-07-23 18:46:04

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Students under Brian W. Sturm

- Amy Pattee - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2004)

- Sandra Hughes-Hassell - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (1998)
- Lila Teresa Church - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2008)
- Robin Henson Boltz - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2010)
- Thomas Kevin B Cherry - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2010)
- Laura L. Christopherson - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2013)
- Dana Hanson-Baldauf - University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2013)