This past May at the International Communication Association‘s annual meeting, I got to present the latest version of a meta-analysis of studies examining the potential for narrative messages to lower resistance to persuasion.
My coauthor Dr. Ye Sun and I received two awards for the paper: top student-led paper in health communication, and one of the top four papers in health communication.
Curious about the findings of our analysis? In short: narratives had a small but significant advantage over non-narratives when it came to reducing resistance to persuasion—which is either exciting or cause for caution, depending on how you look at it!
We also found that the association between higher narrative engagement and lower resistance held up across studies. In other words, when people are more transported into a story or are identifying with the main characters, there’s a good chance they’ll be more persuadable. Across studies, there were several moderators of these effects, which we’ll reveal in the manuscript once it’s published.
Winning awards in the Health Communication division was a great honor, and it was also a great excuse to visit Prague for the first time!
Speaking of the power of stories, the streets of Prague seem to be filled with Kafka references…