The impact of public narratives has been so broad (including effects on beliefs and behavior but extending beyond to emotion and personality), that the stakeholders in the process have been located across disciplines, institutions, governments, and, indeed, across epochs. Narrative Impact draws upon scholars in diverse branches of psychology and media research to explore the subjective experience of public narratives, the affordances of the narrative environment, and the roles played by narratives in both personal and collective spheres. The book brings together current theory and research presented primarily from an empirical psychological and communications perspective, as well as contributions from literary theory, sociology, and censorship studies.
To be commensurate with the broad scope of influence of public narratives, the book includes the narrative mobilization of major social movements, the formation of self-concepts in young people, banning of texts in schools, the constraining impact of narratives on jurors in the court room, and the wide use of education entertainment to affect social changes.
Taken together, the interdisciplinary nature of the book and its stellar list of contributors set it apart from many edited volumes. Narrative Impact will draw readership from various fields, including sociology, literary studies, and curriculum policy.
Providing new explanatory concepts, this book:
*is the first account on the psychology of narrative persuasion and brings together the relevant conceptualizations from within various sectors of psychology together with the major issues that concern cognate disciplines outside of psychology;
*focuses on understanding the mechanisms that underlie the power of public narratives to achieve broad historical and social changes;
*offers breakthroughs to the future: the role of "presence" in virtual reality narratives; the role of "zines" in females' fashioning of their selves; and the central role of imagery in transportation into narrative worlds;
*explains varying roles of emotion in narrative immersion; and
*addresses the growing blurring of fact and fiction: mechanisms and implications for beliefs and behavior.
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Narrative Impact: Social and Cognitive Foundations is the first cross-disciplinary book on the persuasive impact of narratives. Contributors include authors of seminal scholarly works that have furthered understanding of how stories influence our lives and communities:
Roger C. Schank, Knowledge and Memory: The Real Story (with Robert P. Abelson).
Janice Radway, A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle-Class Desire.
Timothy C. Brock, Order of Presentation in Persuasion (with Carl I. Hovland, et al.).
Frank Biocca, Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality (with M. Levy).
Richard C. Gerrig, Experiencing Narrative Worlds: On the Psychological Activities of Reading.
Victor Nell, Lost in a Book: The Psychology of Reading for Pleasure.
Keith Oatley, The Best Laid Schemes: The Psychology of Emotion.
Joan Delfattore, What Johnny Shouldn't Read: Textbook Censorship in America.
Arthur C. Graesser, Narrative Comprehension, Causality and Coherence (with S. R. Goldman and P. van den Broek).
Jeffrey J. Strange, The Future of Fact (with Elihu Katz).
Melanie C. Green, The Role of Transportation in the Persuasiveness of Public Narratives (with Timothy C. Brock).
Ronald N. Jacobs, Race, Media, and the Crisis of Civil Society: From Watts to Rodney King.
Michael D. Slater, Integrating Application of Media Effects, Persuasion and Behavior Change Theories in Communication Campaigns.
About the Editors:
Melanie C. Green is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her PhD in social psychology from Ohio State University. Her research areas include the effects of narratives (including fictional stories) on individuals' beliefs and attitudes, and individual influences on the formation of social capital.
Jeffrey J. Strange, a Columbia University Ph.D., has taught at Columbia, at Lewis and Clark College, and at the University of Pennsylvania, where he designed a course on the psychology of stories. His recent work examines the use of stories in public communication campaigns. Strange directs Public Insight, a research and communication design organization in Portland, Oregon.
Timothy C. Brock, professor of psychology at Ohio State University and past-president of the Society for Consumer Psychology, co-edited Psychological Foundations of Attitudes (1968), Cognitive Responses in Persuasion (1981), Attention, Affect, and Attitude in Response to Advertising (1994), and Persuasion: Psychological Insights and Perspectives (1994).Review:
...the interdisciplinary perspectives from cognitive and social psychology, political science, sociology, rhetoric, cultural studies and media studies make the Narrative Impact an intellectually stimulating read. It sheds light on new theoretical frameworks and opens up exciting areas for empirical research in domains such as computer-mediated environments, film, media-effects research, entertainment-education, etc.
—Zeitschrift f r Medienpsychologie
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