Fictional narrative experience is assumed to have a profound impact on human behavior, but the possible outcomes and the processes through which fictional narrative experience influence behaviors have rarely been studied. This paper introduces a model of the consequences of fictional narrative experience through transportation and transformation processes. We discuss a framework for understanding the effects of fictional narrative experience, distinguishing affective and behavioral effects, and temporality of effects (short-term or persistent). Exemplary outcomes of fictional narrative experience are presented, including recovery, creativity and interpersonal behavior. Finally, we propose that the effects of fictional narrative experience are dependent upon a person's frame of reference, as well the extent to which a reader can identify with the main characters, the perceived usefulness of a narrative, and degree of verisimilitude in the narrative.

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Review of General Psychology
Department of Psychology

Bal, M., Butterman, O., & Bakker, A. (2011). The Influence of Fictional Narrative Experience on Work Outcomes: A Conceptual Analysis and Research Model. Review of General Psychology, 15(4), 361–370. doi:10.1037/a0025416