Narrative Styles and Narratology Formats in PSAs: Assessing the Effects on Arousal, Attention, and Memory

Kimberly Baker 1, Fei Qiao 2 * , Shuhua Zhou 3

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The following study aims to advance knowledge about the effects of narration and point-of-view formats on attention, arousal, and recall for persuasive messages relayed in public service announcements (PSAs). The experiment combines two frameworks, narratology and valence, to expose subjects to 12 different PSAs concerning the topic of animal abuse. Both psychophysiological data and self-report measures were analyzed to determine if three formats of narratology regarding point-of-view (no vocal POV vs. first-person vs. third-person) with two valences (positive vs. negative) have an effect on arousal, as indicated by skin conductance; attention, as indicated by heart rate and memory, and recall as indicated by a posttest unaided recall. The findings contribute toward understanding the emotional and cognitive effects that stimuli have on arousal, attention, and memory.


arousal narrative PSA psychophysiological recall transportation


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 9, Issue 4, Article No: e201925

Published Online: 30 Sep 2019

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