For millennia, people have used narratives to inform and persuade. However, little social psychological research addresses how and when narrative persuasion occurs, perhaps because narratives are complex stimuli that are difficult to vary without significantly changing the plot or characters. Existing research suggests that regulatory fit and/or processing fluency can be varied easily and in ways completely exterior to narrative content but that nonetheless affect how much narratives engage, transport, and persuade. We review research on narrative transportation and persuasion and then discuss regulatory fit and its relationship to processing fluency. Afterward, we discuss how regulatory fit and processing fluency may affect psychological engagement, transportation, and persuasion via narratives.
Social and Personality Psychology Compass
Vaughn, Leigh Ann; Childs, Kathryn E.; Maschinski, Claire; Niño, N. Paul; and Ellsworth, Rachael, "Regulatory Fit, Processing Fluency, and Narrative Persuasion" (2010). Psychology Department Faculty Publications and Presentations. 4.