Narrative as structure

Ashley Sanders-Jackson, University of Pennsylvania


The purpose of this dissertation was to develop measures of narrative structure for written and video health communication messages with an eye toward developing more readily encoded and persuasive messages. Two rated measures of narrative structure, both of which are comprised of unique sub-scales, were developed for use in health communication messages across two pretests and two primary studies using experimental methodologies. One of the rated measures of narrative structure is for written text and one is for video. A series of reliability analyses were completed on these measures including exploratory factor analyses, Cronbach’s alpha analyses and bootstrap analyses. Both of the primary studies used smoking cessation material and the sample was an adult population of smokers. A relatively reliable rated measure of narrative structure was developed for video and written texts. In both cases, some of the subscales of the rated measures of narrative structure are distinct from transportation, a measure of narrative engagement. Results suggest that higher levels of sequence and transportation are associated with increased encoding across media. However, sequence was little effect on persuasion outcomes and emotionality of messages has varying effects across recognition and persuasion outcomes.^

Subject Area

Speech Communication|Health Sciences, Public Health

Recommended Citation

Sanders-Jackson, Ashley, "Narrative as structure" (2011). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3485622.