Human Nature 14 (4):365-382 (2003)

Literary scholars are generally suspicious of the concept of universals: there are presently no candidates for literary universals that a high proportion of literary scholars would accept as valid. This paper reports results from a content analysis of patterns of characterization in folktales from 48 culture areas, aimed at identifying patterns of characterization that apply across regions of the world and levels of cultural complexity. The search for these patterns was guided by evolutionary theory and the findings are consistent with previous research on patterns of altruism, sex differences in mate preferences, sex differences in reproductive strategy, and differing emphases on male and female physical attractiveness. World literature, especially originally oral literature, represents a vast and neglected repository of information that researchers can use to more precisely map the contours of human nature
Keywords Content analysis  Evolution  Folktales  Literary Studies  Literary Universals  Sex Differences  Universals
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DOI 10.1007/s12110-003-1011-3
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Evolution and Literary Theory.Joseph Carroll - 1995 - Human Nature 6 (2):119-134.

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