Health Communication| Dispelling Fears and Myths of Organ Donation: How Narratives Including Information Reduce Ambivalence and Reactance

Freya Sukalla, Anna J. M. Wagner, Isabel Rackow


Combining research in narrative persuasion with the theory of planned behavior, this article investigates the effects of integrating information addressing specific fears and myths about organ donation in narratives on individuals’ reactance, attitudinal ambivalence, and organ donation intentions. The results of a 2 (with vs. without information) × 2 (control factor text) between-subjects online experiment (N = 308) show that embedding relevant information (a) did not impede narrative engagement, (b) successfully reduced attitudinal ambivalence, and (c) ultimately increased organ donation intentions. This article illustrates the theoretical and empirical relevance of ambivalence and reactance as valuable constructs for both researchers and practitioners in health communication.


narrative persuasion, reactance, ambivalence, theory of planned behavior, organ donation

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