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Based on a true story: Making people believe the unbelievable

Valsesia, Francesca; Diehl, Kristin; Nunes, Joseph C.

Journal of experimental social psychology. Volume 71 (2017); pp 105-110

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  • Title:
    Based on a true story: Making people believe the unbelievable
  • Author: Valsesia, Francesca;
    Diehl, Kristin;
    Nunes, Joseph C.
  • Found In: Journal of experimental social psychology. Volume 71 (2017); pp 105-110
  • Journal Title: Journal of experimental social psychology
  • Subjects: Story-telling--Narratives--Story evaluation--Based on a true story--Perceived plausibility--Typicality
  • Rights: Licensed
  • Abstract: Abstract Storytelling is important to how people construct reality and interact with others. This research contributes to our understanding of why some stories are evaluated more positively than others, specifically how truth-based labeling (TBL), stating the story is "based on true events, " influences evaluations. Past research has failed to find an unequivocal effect of knowing a story is true on a range of responses including enjoyment, transportation, and emotional reactions. We contend this was due to past work not considering how TBL might interact with the nature of the story itself. One aspect of the story is its typicality (i.e., whether story events fall within the parameters of our past and present experiences). We propose, and show, across experimental and correlational data, that TBL increases the perceived plausibility of a story and enhances the audience's response only when a story is low in typicality to begin with. Conversely, when events in a story are already high in typicality, TBL has little effect on the perceived plausibility of the story, and in turn how the audience responds. We further provide mediational evidence for perceived plausibility as the underlying mechanism. Highlights Being labeled as "based on a true story" improves evaluation of certain stories. Truth-based labeling benefits stories low but not high in typicality. Truth based labeling heightens perceived plausibility of low typicality stories. Truth-based labeling does not affect perceived plausibility of typical stories.
  • Identifier: System Number: ETOCvdc_100044211253.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0022-1031; doi/10.1016/j.jesp.2017.03.001
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): 4982.700000
  • UIN: ETOCvdc_100044211253.0x000001

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