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Development and application of a content analysis dictionary for body boundary research.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Literary and Linguistic Computing
Issue number1
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)105-110
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Body image—especially self-perceptions of body boundaries—can have a significant impact on emotional well-being, personality, and behaviour. Fisher and Cleveland developed a scoring system for identifying two categories of body boundary imagery (Barrier and Penetration) in Rorschach test protocols, which Newbold has since extended to the analysis of narrative text. This paper describes the initial development of a content analysis dictionary (the Body Type Dictionary) for automating Barrier and Penetration scoring on English-language texts. To demonstrate its use and to provide a preliminary measure of validation, the dictionary is applied to a set of fictional fetish narratives and to samples from mainstream romantic fiction. The results demonstrate that the fetish narratives contain a significantly greater amount of Barrier imagery than the mainstream writing samples, which tallies with previous observations about body boundaries and appears to support the claim that writers with uncertain self-perceived boundaries will use more body boundary imagery in their writing. Suggestions for further validation studies and applications are given.