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International Review of Social Research

Print ISSN: 2069-8267
Online ISSN:2069-8534
Frequency: Three times a year
Current volume: 3/2013

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February 2013; Volume 3, Issue 2.

 

The Ability of Narrative Communication to Address Health-related Social Norms (pages 131-149)
Meghan Bridgid MORAN, Sheila T. MURPHY, Lauren B. FRANK, Lourdes BAEZCONDE-GARBANATI
Article first published online: 25 June 2013

Keywords: narrative communication, identification, perceived social norm, behavioral intention, cervical cancer.

Abstract. Social norms are an important predictor of health behavior and have been targeted by a variety of health communication campaigns. However, these campaigns often encounter challenges related to the socially specific context in which norms exist: specifically, the extent to which the target population identifies with the specific reference group depicted and the extent to which the target population believes the campaign’s message. We argue that because of its capacity to effect identification among viewers, narrative communication is particularly appropriate for impacting social norms and, consequently, behavioral intention. This manuscript presents the results of a randomized trial testing the effectiveness of two films – one narrative, one non-narrative – in changing perceived social norms and behavioral intention regarding Pap testing to detect cervical cancer. Results of the study indicate that the narrative film was in fact more effective at producing positive changes in perceived norms and intention.

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