Present, empathetic, and persuaded: a meta-analytic comparison of storytelling in high versus low immersive mediated environments

Zexin Ma*, Rong Ma, Meng Chen, Nathan Walter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Immersive narratives - narratives viewed in immersive mediated environments - are a promising tool for increasing empathy and persuasion due to their presumed capacity to place viewers inside a story world. Empirical studies, however, have produced mixed findings. This meta-analysis synthesized findings on the effects of narratives viewed in high (vs. low) immersive environments on empathy and persuasion (k = 25). It also examined the impact of narratives viewed in high (vs. low) immersive environments on presence and narrative transportation, psychological constructs associated with two key mechanisms identified in immersive narrative research. Results showed that narratives viewed in high (vs. low) immersive environments had small positive effects on empathy and persuasion. The effect of immersion level on presence was significant, positive, and strong, but the effect on transportation was not significant, perhaps due to the limited sample size (k = 4). This study contributes to further understanding the potential of immersive narratives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Communication Research
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

Keywords

  • empathy
  • immersive narratives
  • narrative transportation
  • persuasion
  • presence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language

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