This wouldn’t be an experiment, but it would be an observational study, potentially. Once I isolated specific variables in my own writing, I may be able to actually run clinical tests on other people’s writing samples. Oh dear sweet Jesus, the autobiographical/writerly significance this could have. Anyone in History potentially, you could code for what they wrote in fiction and compare it to their autobiographies for lifespan based content, and similar themes. Holy crap. It’s like all the literary analysis in one tool.
This wouldn’t be an experiment, because there is no randomization. For any kind of true trials, you’d have to break people into test groups and control groups, or do a within groups design (one variable but pretest and post test, everyone does it), between groups (different groups on different levels of one independent variable, compared to one another, with a control group). Multivariate (2+ variables, tests like ANOVA etc.) would help discern how much of multiple variables are present in a specific study.
You know, people always say that these things are too complicated to be done, but I don’t believe that, at least, not yet. History isn’t perfect, but the stressors and differences between people seem to be pretty standard, throughout the course of history. Concepts like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (as in, you need to eat before you can have healthy self esteem) would be pretty easy to code for, in practice. There is already a lot of research on poverty, and what it takes to survive in different climates. Data in American studies departments to Cultural Anthropology to Organismal Biology to basically all of human history, in a briefcase. If we want to understand the likeness of God better, isn’t that the entire point of this crap? Like, even Darwin got emotion sometimes, according to a lady I met last week who does research on tropical beetles in the Amazon, and takes students. She is really nice, and she showed us a quote from the last page of one of Darwin’s books where he was tenderhearted and talking about God’s kingdom and what not. Oh Religion and Science. Neither of you are fully right. That’s why I go to God first, and simmer my way down from there. He’s always right. I can’t prove that, but I shouldn’t have to.
I know a little lots about a bunch of different crap. “Interdisciplinary” just means dabbling, okay? I dabble. I dabble like a pro.
And I know people who are used to me rambling at them. And I seek out the ones who have the most colorful rambles. I don’t know why this would be a problem if we did it for funsies. What the hell do you think Operant Conditioning and Pavlov’s dogs started as? The stupid research assistant put in the spit sucker too soon, and didn’t inject the stupid meat powder before he/she rang the bell. That is how we know about basically all cannonized Western thinking on how to “just do it” and justify how people strive for greater to conquer their fears to people who would never buy in without an external rationale. There it is. Make crap up. Take risks. Happy Accidents. Baboom it’s kind of like getting pregnant.
Ok that was totally not nice, but same concept. Our ideas become like our children when we abuse them. I’m going to stop typing now, because that was a pretty epic tangent. As a side note, I’m not trying to prove God. I just think that maybe actually comparing people’s lives to their writing could show us A CRAP TON about the limits of the human mind, and potentially, how to become healthier, happier people.