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Thursday 13 February 2014

The Extended Transportation-Imagery Model: A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Consumers’ Narrative Transportation

In a research paper named The Extended Transportation-Imagery Model: A Meta-Analysis of the Antecedents and Consequences of Consumers' Narrative Transportation, ESCP Europe professors Tom van Laer and Luca Visconti have united with peers from Maastricht University to discuss: "What makes stories so popular?"

The paper is an international research project, jointly written by Tom van Laer (Assistant Professor of Marketing, London), Luca Visconti (Associate Professor of Marketing, Paris), and Ko de Ruyter and Martin Wetzels of Maastricht University.

Narrative transportation theory proposes that when consumers lose themselves in a story, their attitudes and intentions change to reflect that story (Green 2008). The mental state of narrative transportation can explain the persuasive effect of stories on consumers (Gerrig 1993), who may experience narrative transportation when certain contextual and personal preconditions are met, as Green and Brock (2002) postulate for the transportation-imagery model. As we elaborate further subsequently, narrative transportation occurs whenever the consumer experiences a feeling of entering a world evoked by the narrative because of empathy for the story characters and imagination of the story plot.


Recent developments have further enhanced the importance of narrative transportation. The intentional placement of educational content in entertainment (Moyer-Guse' 2008), the widespread embrace of social media with stories at center stage (Van Laer and de Ruyter 2010), and the rise of hybrid genres, such as reality television shows (Hall 2009) and interactive video games (Baranowski et al. 2008), all indicate that narrative transportation constitutes a key issue that demands consumer research attention (Singhal and Rogers 2002). Despite notable strides, however, extant narrative transportation literature remains fragmented, in terms of both its conceptual breadth and its empirical findings, as several qualitative reviews highlight (Green, Brock, and Kaufman 2004; Moyer-Guse' 2008; Nabi and Krcmar 2004; Slater 2002a).

As previously reported, this paper has been published in full in the February edition of the Journal of Consumer Research. It was also discussed by Raymond A. Mar of York University, Canada, in his blog OnFiction. Further to this, Tom adapted the research for a blog on Breed Communications.

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