Transportation lowers resistance to persuasive narratives: Understanding the roles of identification and perceived persuasive intent in narrative persuasion
MetadataShow full item record
Persuasion models posit that greater transportation into narratives lowers resistance to persuasive appeals (e.g., Slater & Rounder, 2002). The current study examines if the relationship between transportation and resistance to persuasion is mediated by perceived persuasive intent and identification. Resistance in the current study was conceptualized as amount of counter-arguing and receivers' level of psychological reactance to narrative persuasive appeals. Two health promotion contexts (bone marrow donation, college binge drinking) were examined across experiments. Students were asked to carefully evaluate narrative appeals after reporting their overall attitude on the topics. Data from hierarchical regression analyses support the hypothesized revised models. Specifically, identification mediated the relationship between transportation and counter-arguing in both studies with partial support for mediation role on the relationship between transportation and psychological reactance in context of binge drinking (study 2). Perceived persuasive intent mediated the effect of transportation on counter-arguing and psychological reactance in college binge drinking, but not for bone marrow donation. Study 3 further investigated the specific aspects of persuasive narrative messages participants react to and what types of issue-relevant thoughts they produce, employing thought-listing techniques (Cacioppo & Petty, 1981). In contrast to the claim by the previous narrative persuasion studies (Green & Brock, 2000 and Slater & Rounder, 2003), the participants in study 3 generated considerable amount of issue-relevant thoughts regardless of the level of transportation.