Manipulating Character Vulnerability and Victim/Other Perspective in First-Person Narratives of Foodborne Illness

Shuo Zhou, Michael A. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the effects of narrative perspective (victim’s vs. other’s perspective) and victim vulnerability (high vs. low) in an autobiographical account of contracting foodborne illness (salmonella) because of careless preparation. Narrative perspective and character vulnerability did not directly influence audience members’ risk perception or their intention to perform risk-reducing behaviors. However, participants were more likely to egocentrically project their own mental status into the character’s mind and identify with the story character after reading the high-vulnerability victim’s account. Identification with the character increased but egocentric projection decreased audience members’ perceived seriousness of foodborne illness risk and their behavioral intention to perform safe food-handling practices. Implications for understanding narrative processing and health persuasion are discussed.

Conference

ConferenceICA 2018 - 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference
Abbreviated titleICA 2018
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
CityPrague
Period24/05/1828/05/18
Internet address

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