Tell Me About Your Experience: How Consumer Narratives Persuade

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Virginia Tech


My dissertation explores how people are persuaded by narratives. The first essay is a review of the literature over the past decade where I develop and then apply an overarching framework to synthesize the empirical work that examine antecedents and consequences of narrative persuasion as well as moderators and mediators that are involved in this process. In the second essay, I adopt a structural equations approach to examine the process through which consumers are persuaded by online consumer reviews, a common form of consumer narrative. A review that reads like a narrative (story) is likely to evoke transportation into that review, which affects persuasion-related outcomes. Across three studies, I explore how variables identified in essay 1 and important to the persuasion-related literature affect this process. In the third essay, I adopt an experimental approach to further explore the process of reflection, which is introduced in essay one. I demonstrate that this process is distinct from transportation, and that mediates the relationship between transportation and persuasion-related outcomes.



narrative, persuasion, transportation