Narrative Health Communication and Behavior Change: The Influence of Exemplars in the News on Intention to Quit Smoking

Article (PDF Available)inJournal of Communication 62(3):473-492 · June 2012with75 Reads
DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01644.x · Source: PubMed
This study investigated psychological mechanisms underlying the effect of narrative health communication on behavioral intention. Specifically, the study examined how exemplification in news about successful smoking cessation affects recipients' narrative engagement, thereby changing their intention to quit smoking. Nationally representative samples of U.S. adult smokers participated in 2 experiments. The results from the 2 experiments consistently showed that smokers reading a news article with an exemplar experienced greater narrative engagement compared to those reading an article without an exemplar. Those who reported more engagement were in turn more likely to report greater smoking cessation intentions.