This study conceptually and empirically distinguishes two mental processes in narrative processing of food safety health messages—identification with and egocentric projection onto story characters. Two studies examined the effects of narrative autobiographical accounts of contracting foodborne illness (salmonella) because of careless food preparation. Both studies consistently found that identification increased, but egocentric projection decreased audience members’ behavioral intention to perform safe food handling practices, indicating that egocentric projection and identification represent unique mental processes and yield distinct persuasive outcomes. In addition, confirmatory factor analyses provided evidence that egocentric projection and identification are distinct constructs. Implications for the role of identification and egocentric projection for understanding narrative processing and for health persuasion are discussed.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Library and Information Sciences