Narratives to Increase Prosociality Toward Refugees

Elaine Paravati, Kaitlin Fitzgerald, Melanie C. Green, Cass McAllister, Melissa M. Moore


Narratives can be effective tools for improving attitudes toward minority groups. The current study tested the potential for restorative narratives—stories of recovery that show the character strength and meaningful progression of an individual—to increase prosocial attitudes toward refugees. This experiment (N = 597) compared narratives with and without restorative elements in a 2 (character strength: present vs. absent) × 2 (narrative ending: positive versus negative) design, including a no-message control group. Results suggested that narratives in general improved explicit attitudes toward refugees, as well as attitudes toward helping refugees, compared to the no-message control. Although the strength/positive ending restorative narrative was not more effective than other narratives, specific components of restorative narratives (e.g., strength-focus; positive ending) influenced the overall emotional experience.


narrative persuasion, restorative, prosocial, refugees

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