The Blame Game: Narrative Persuasiveness of the Intentional Causal Mechanism
Narratives have a dual function that both reflects and shapes who we are. Representing both the communicative and transformative nature of narrative, storytellers spin their tales as both fundamental expressions of individual and group identities and expressions of values (McAdams 2004). For example, love stories such as Romeo and Juliet, Odysseus and Penelope, and Cinderella and the Prince are enduring because they reflect our experiences and expectations of the passion, devotion, sacrifice, and tragedy that may accompany our love experiences. These stories also give clear (and well-studied) signals about how to shape identity, such as gender roles for men and women in relationships (e.g., Parsons 2004). Thus, such broad, culturally shared narratives function to represent our human experiences and identity, and they also work to influence and shape our beliefs and preferences through a compelling story.
KeywordsCausal Mechanism Policy Preference Political Ideology Public Land Policy Opinion
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