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Narrative persuasion

Kai Barron and Tilman Fries

Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: We study how one person may shape the way another person interprets objective information. They do this by proposing a sense-making explanation (or narrative). Using a theory-driven experiment, we investigate the mechanics of such narrative persuasion. Our results reveal several insights. First, narratives are persuasive: We find that they systematically shift beliefs. Second, narrative fit (coherence with the facts) is a key determinant of persuasiveness. Third, this fit-heuristic is anticipated by narrative-senders, who systematically tailor their narratives to the facts. Fourth, the features of a competing narrative predictably influence both narrative construction and adoption.

Keywords: Narratives; beliefs; explanations; mental models; experiment; financial advice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D83 G40 G50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2024
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-gth, nep-hpe and nep-inv
Note: January 2023 (revised April 2024)
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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/295066/1/ii23-301r.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Narrative Persuasion (2024) Downloads
Working Paper: Narrative Persuasion (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: Narrative Persuasion (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: Narrative Persuasion (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: Narrative persuasion (2023)
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