Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Studies

Committee Member

Erin Ash

Committee Member

Darren Linvill

Committee Member

Andrew Pyle


This research was intended to investigate if interactive narrative media enhances the effects of narrative persuasion utilizing a story about opioid overdose kits. Using Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), the Entertainment Overcoming Resistance Model (EORM), and the Extended Parallel Processing Model (EPPM) as theoretical frameworks, this study examines the benefits of narrative persuasion and applies them to interactive narrative media. While these benefits have been established with traditional, unidirectional media, they have rarely been examined in media wherein the audience has the ability to affect the narrative. The hypotheses tested in this experiment posits that the interactive narrative media will elicit more positive attitudes towards the topic of the narrative while the viewers experience greater levels of narrative identification, transportation, and task-related self-efficacy related to the use of Naloxone kits to aid a person undergoing an opioid overdose.

An experiment was conducted with university students who were provided either interactive or non-interactive narrative media. Results tested with a series of independent-samples t-tests found that both interactive and non-interactive narrative media elicited similar amounts of narrative identification, transportation, and task-related self-efficacy. This study proposes that the benefits of interactivity may lie beyond a not hitherto designated interactivity threshold. Research has shown this threshold has been crossed by more complex media, but its limitations and features have yet to be discovered.



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