Meta-analytic evidence for the persuasive effect of narratives on beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors

Kurt Braddock, James Price Dillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although narratives are often credited with the capacity to change opinions, empirical tests of this prediction have produced mixed results. To provide a more precise test of narrative's effect on beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors, we performed meta-analyses on studies that evaluated narrative's persuasive influence on these outcomes. Results suggested positive relationships between exposure to a narrative and narrative-consistent beliefs (k = 37; N = 7,376; r =.17), attitudes (k = 40; N = 7,132; r =.19), intentions (k = 28; N = 5,211; r =.17), and behaviors (k = 5; N = 978; r =.23). Moderator analyses on the effect of fictionality yielded mixed results. Neither medium of presentation nor research design influenced the magnitude of the narrative-persuasion relationship. However, results suggested the presence of unidentified moderators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-467
Number of pages22
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume83
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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