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Communications

The European Journal of Communication Research

Founded by Silbermann, Alphons

Ed. by Krotz, Friedrich / Roe, Keith

4 Issues per year

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The role of dimensions of narrative engagement in narrative persuasion

Anneke de Graaf1 / Hans Hoeken2 / José Sanders3 / Hans Beentjes4

1Doctoral Candidate at the Department of Business Communication, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail:

2Professor at the Department of Business Communication, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail:

3Professor at the Department of Business Communication, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9103, 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail:

4Professor at the Department of Communication Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail:

Citation Information: Communications. Volume 34, Issue 4, Pages 385–405, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: 10.1515/COMM.2009.024, December 2009

Publication History

Published Online:
2009-12-14

Abstract

Several models of narrative persuasion posit that a reader's phenomenological experience of a narrative plays a mediating role in the persuasive effects of the narrative. Because the narrative reading experience is multi-dimensional, this experiment investigates which dimensions of this experience – referred to here as narrative engagement – mediate between reading a story and the persuasive effects of the story. Narrative engagement was manipulated by giving participants a selection task to carry out while reading or by adding language errors to the story. Results showed that the task decreased the engagement dimension Being in Narrative World and the language errors decreased the dimension Attentional Focus. No corresponding effects on attitudes were found. However, comparisons with a control group showed that reading the story rendered attitudes more consistent with the story. Regression analysis indicated that this effect may be explained by readers' emotions regarding the characters.

Keywords:: narrative engagement; narrative persuasion; reading

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