Syllabus: Narrative Effects
Readings and Syllabus Narrative Effects
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Syllabus: Narrative Effects
Media and Communication Studies
Narrative Effects in Various Media
(Proseminar: Basics Theory)
room: EW 163
Instructor: Sabine Reich, M.A.
Office: Haus Oberrhein, room 506
Office Phone: 181 3937
Office Hours: Wednesday 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and by appointment (tungle.me/sabinereich)
Virtual office hours: Wednesday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Narratives create various phenomenological experiences in the audience such as the feeling of being
psychologically transported into the story, of identifying with story characters, feeling for them, and also,
virtually diving into the story world. We will read, write, and talk about how the audience processes narratives
from different media, including audiobooks, television series, movies, and video games. Intentional and
unintentional cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects in these contexts will be explored.
In this course we will read a wide range of literature on narrative theory and empirical investigations of narrative
effects. The goal is to gain an overview of existing constructs and theories. The course is literature based.
***Reading materials will not be provided, if they are available through the University’s library, because I feel
literature research is one important skill you need to master. I will put all necessary books on hold at the library,
so your access is granted all semester long for copying. You find the books in BB A3 in the “Semesterapparat”
section. For journals your own research is required.
We will read a fair number of peer-reviewed journal articles with scientific vocabulary. I will provide some
dictionary pages on the statistical terms in the literature. You can find them on ILIAS.
Grading: Your final grade will be composed of
a) In-class presentation 40%
b) Term paper – continuative discussion of in-class topic 40%
c) Participation Grade 20%
a) In-class presentation: You are required to hold a short in-class presentation on one of the suggested topics in
the literature list. Groups of two are allowed for presentations. Every speaker is required to present for 10-15
minutes, followed by a discussion of no more than 10 minutes. How well you stay with that time frame will
affect your grade.
b) Term paper: Please refer to the APA style handbook for formal requirements. Make an appointment with me
to finalize your topic. We will go through other requirements in the final session.
c) Participation Grade: A portion of your grade comes from participation. These are not “free” points
distributed to students just for showing up. They must be earned. This grade is calculated based on various
“participation challenge” assignments I will assign throughout the semester, general participation in classroom
discussion and evidence of preparation (e.g., attending class having completed the readings, answering the
central question for every text), and the student’s contribution to a productive, inclusive and respectful
educational environment for the professor and fellow students.
Late assignments: Late assignments will be accepted for a 5% reduction in grade for every day the assignment
is late. Late assignments will not be accepted beyond one week late. Students are responsible for remembering to
turn in assignments on the due date.
Email & Electronic Communication Policy: I will prioritize & make every effort to respond to
communications sent during virtual office hours ASAP. However, for electronic communication occurring
outside of established Office Hours:
• Students can expect to get a response to an email from me within 48 hours of sending it, often much
sooner. If you don’t hear from me within 48 hours, send a polite reminder.
• If you send me an email or any other electronic communication and I do not respond to it, then I did not
receive it. You will always get a response from me if I received something.
• Students should not expect responses on weekends or after 9pm.
• Email subject lines should include: Class Title & Your name. e.g., “Narrative Effects – Jane ”
• In case of real emergency needing response ASAP, add “[emergency]” to subject line. Don’t abuse this!
• Remember, there is an online etiquette.
Virtual Office Hours: I want to be available for you via online communication as well. You can reach me on
Skype (mkw_sreich) during virtual office hours and whenever my status reads ‘available’.
Learning Assumptions and Expectations:
• Success is your choice! If you choose to be successful, I will be happy to help you. If you do not choose
to be successful, I will honor your choice. Every student has the potential to succeed in this class.
• Respect is one of the foundations of an environment conducive to learning. This class will have a
positive and respectful learning environment. In class discussions, everyone should be courteous and
respectful of others: rude, sexist, racist or disrespectful comments or behavior will not be tolerated.
• One of the most important aspects of learning is being able to listen. As you listen to your classmates,
you should be attentive and supportive. Everyone has something valuable to contribute to the class’
learning and to each individual’s success.
• Class discussion will build from the reading so it is necessary that you complete the reading before the
assigned date. We will not be able to discuss everything covered in the readings, but you will be
responsible for the content.
• I am open to your feedback about how I can best meet your needs as a student. I will actively solicit
your feedback a few times in the semester through evaluations, but also welcome your comments at
Attendance, Being On Time, & Leaving Early: Attendance will be taken every class. In line with University
policies, credits can only be earned if no more than 2 classes were missed.
You are expected to attend class regularly and on time and to stay for the duration of class. Students who arrive
more than 5 minutes late or leave lecture before it is complete without notifying the instructor prior to the start of
class will receive a reduction in their overall grade.
Classroom Environment: Play (mp3 players, games on handheld devices, etc), reading non-course related
materials, or working on assignments for other classes is considered disrespectful & will invariably affect your
grade. Use of Internet devices to take notes & gather information to inform classroom discussion is encouraged.
Social interaction on devices is disrespectful, please minimize use during class. If your use of any device
becomes disruptive, it will negatively impact your grade. Although I may speak with you about this, do not
expect a warning prior to reduction nor for the instructor to inform you that your grade has been reduced. You
may use your laptops for taking notes, but please do not surf the web. If your ringer goes off during class, please
turn it off. If you feel the call may be an emergency, please step out of class.
Students who plagiarize or cheat on an exam will fail the entire course and all chairs at the Department of Media
and Communication Studies will be informed. If you have any doubt, always first turn to the department’s
handbook (only German):
List of reading assignments and presentation topics
Introduction to narrative theory
1) Feb 16th, 20011
Introduction to the course’ content & requirements
Introducing a leading question: What are narratives?
2) Feb 23rd, 2011
The essence of narrative
Abbott, H. P. (2002). The Cambridge introduction to narrative. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge
Univ. Press. Chapters 1+2.
3+4) Mar 2nd, 2011 -Doublesession- 5:45pm to 9pm
1. Narrative theory
Chatman, S. B. (1980). Story and discourse - narrative structure in fiction and film (2nd ed.).
Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press. Chapter 1.
2. The narrative myth
Nell, V. (2002). Mythic structures in narrative. The domestication of immortality. In M. C.
Green, T. C. Brock & J. J. Strange (Eds.), Narrative impact. Social and cognitive foundations
(pp. 17-38). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Presentation topic a: The philosophical perspective
Fisher, W. R. (1985). The Narrative Paradigm: In the Beginning. Journal of Communication,
35(4), 74-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.1985.tb02974.x
Presentation topic b: Narrativity
Prince, G. (1999). Revisiting Narrativitiy. In W. Grünzweig & A. Solbach (Eds.),
Grenzüberschreitungen. Narratologie im Kontext. Transcending Boundaries: Narratology in
Context . Tübingen: Gunter Narr.
Cognitive and emotional processing of narratives
Mar 9th, 2011 – No Session
5) Mar 16th, 2011
1. Narrative processing: The mental models approach
Graesser, A. C., Olde, B., & Klettke, B. (2002). How does the mind construct and represent
stories. In M. C. Green, T. C. Brock & J. J. Strange (Eds.), Narrative impact. Social and
cognitive foundations (pp. 229-259). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
2. Reading Books – the metaphor of the travelling reader
Green, M. C., & Brock, T. C. (2002). In the mind's eye. Transportation imagery model of
narrative persuasion. In M. C. Green, T. C. Brock & J. J. Strange (Eds.), Narrative impact.
Social and cognitive foundations (pp. 315-341). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Presentation topic: Narrative experience
Gerrig, R. J. (1993). Experiencing narrative worlds: on the psychological activities of reading.
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
6) Mar 23rd, 2011
The feel of the story: emotional effects
Zillmann, D. (1995). Mechanisms of emotional involvement with drama. [doi: DOI:
10.1016/0304-422X(94)00020-7]. Poetics, 23(1-2), 33-51.
7+8) Mar 25th, 2011 (10am to 1pm) Make up session
1. Research slam – no readings assigned
2. Student presentations (3-4)
Presentation topic a: Identification – taking perspective
Klimmt, C., Hefner, D., Vorderer, P., Roth, C., & Blake, C. (2010). Identification With Video
Game Characters as Automatic Shift of Self-Perceptions. [Article]. Media Psychology, 13(4),
323-338. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2010.524911.
Presentation topic b: Narrative engagement – how to measure cognition and emotion of the travelling
Busselle, R., & Bilandzic, H. (2009). Measuring narrative engagement. Media Psychology,
Presentation topic c: Realness
Shapiro, M. A., & Chock, T. M. (2003). Psychological Processes in Perceiving Reality. Media
Psychology, 5(2), 163-198.
Presentation topic d: How the narrative text works - Deictic Shift Theory
Segal, E. M. (1995). Narrative comprehension and the role of deictic shift theory. In J. F.
Duchan, G. A. Bruder & L. E. Hewitt (Eds.), Deixis in narrative: A cognitive science
perspective. (pp. 3-17). Hillsdale, NJ England: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
9) Mar 30th, 2011
a) Creeber, G. (2001). The television genre book. London: London : British Film Institute. pp
b) Machill, M., Köhler, S., & Waldhauser, M. (2007). The Use of Narrative Structures in
Television News. European Journal of Communication, 22(2), 185-205.
Presentation topic: Time in narrative – how stories can aid memory
Lang, A. (1989). Effects of Chronological Presentation of Information on Processing and
Memory for Broadcast News. [Article]. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 33(4),
Apr 6th, 2011 – No Session
10) Apr 13th, 2011
Entertainment Education through narratives
Slater, M. D. (2002). Entertainment-Education and Elaboration Likelihood: Understanding the
Processing of Narrative Persuasion. [Article]. Communication Theory (10503293), 12(2), 163-
Presentation topic a: Narrative audiobooks – Attention and motivation
Ritterfeld, U., Klimmt, C., Vorderer, P., & Steinhilper, L. K. (2005). The Effects of a
Narrative Audiotape on Preschoolers' Entertainment Experience and Attention. Media
Psychology, 7(1), 47-72.
Presentation topic b: Narratives to change health related behavior and knowledge
Chang, C. (2008). Increasing Mental Health Literacy via Narrative Advertising. [Article].
Journal of Health Communication, 13(1), 37-55. doi: 10.1080/10810730701807027
Apr 13th – Apr 29th 2001 – Easter Holidays
11+12) May 4th, 2011 -Doublesession- 5:45pm to 9pm
1. Genre – same old, same old
Creeber, G. (2001). The television genre book. London: London : British Film Institute. pp 1-7
2. “Young and good-looking” – the role of narrative in cultivating genre consistent
a) Chory-Assad, R. M., & Tamborini, R. (2003). Television Exposure and the Public's
Perceptions of Physicians. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 47(2), 197-215.
b) Bilandzic, H., & Busselle, R. W. (2008). Transportation and transportability in the
cultivation of genre-consistent attitudes and estimates. Journal of Communication, 58(3),
508-529. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.2008.00397.x.
Presentation topic a: The CSI cultivation effect
Bilandzic, H., Busselle, R., Spitzner, F., Kalch, A., & Reich, S. (2009). The CSI Cultivation
Effect. Exploring the Influence of Need for Closure and the Disposition for Narrative
Engagement. Paper presented at the 59th Annual Conference of the International
Communications Assocication, Chicago, IL, USA.
Presentation topic b: Movie genre and their analysis
Lyden, J. C. (2003). Film as religion: myths, morals, and rituals. New York: New York Univ.
13) May 11th, 2011
The role of narratives in video games
a) Juul, J. (2001). Games telling stories? - A brief note on games and narratives. International
Journal of Computer Game Research, 1(1).
b) Schneider, E. F., Lang, A., Shin, M., & Bradley, S. D. (2004). Death with a story - How
story impacts emotional, motivational, and psychological responses to first-person shooter
video games. Human Communication Research, 30(3), 361-375.
Presentation topic a: Interactive narrative
Lee, K. M., Park, N., & Jin, S.-A. (2006). Narrative and interactivity in computer games. In P.
Vorderer & J. Bryant (Eds.), Playing video games - motives, responses, and consequences (pp.
259-274). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Presentation topic b: Secondary intermediality – Genre in film and video game
Lyden, J. C. (2003). Film as religion: myths, morals, and rituals. New York: New York Univ.
14) May 18th, 2011