Interactive narratives affecting social change: A closer look at the relationship between interactivity and prosocial behavior

Sharon T. Steinemann, Glena H. Iten, Klaus Opwis, Seamus F. Forde, Lars Frasseck, Elisa D. Mekler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interactive narratives offer interesting opportunities for the study of the impact of media on behavior. A growing amount of research on games advocating social change, including those focusing on interactive narratives, has highlighted their potential for attitudinal and behavioral impact. In this study, we examine the relationship between interactivity and prosocial behavior, as well as potential underlying processes. A yoked study design with 634 participants compared an interactive with a noninteractive narrative. Structural equation modeling revealed no significant differences in prosocial behavior between the interactive and noninteractive condition. However, support for the importance of appreciation for and engagement with a narrative on subsequent prosocial behavior was observed. In summary, while results shed light on processes underlying the relationship between both noninteractive and interactive narratives and prosocial behavior, they also highlight interactivity as a multifaceted concept worth examining in further detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Appreciation
  • Games for change
  • Interactive narrative
  • Prosocial behavior
  • Yoked design

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