China and the USA are among the countries where depression is most prevalent. However, the treatment rate of depression is relatively low in these two countries. Negative attitudes toward depression is one of the major contributor to the low-treatment rate. The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of narratives to promote positive attitudes toward depression in China and the USA. In addition, it examines that the psychological mechanisms underlying narrative persuasion in these two different cultural contexts.
An online survey was conducted in both China (n=84) and the USA (n=174). Participants were first asked to complete a short questionnaire about their demographic information and depressive symptoms. They were then asked to read a story featuring a college student with depression. After reading the message, participants completed another questionnaire measuring their attitudes toward depression, transportation (i.e. readers’ involvement with the story), and counterarguing (i.e. the generation of thoughts that dispute the persuasive argument).
Results from a multi-group analysis suggested that although narrative messages had similar persuasive effects for readers from different cultures, the relation between narrative transportation and counterarguing was different. For the US participants, the more they were transported to the story world, the less counter arguments they generated. However, transportation was not negatively associated with counterarguing for Chinese readers.
Findings provide implications for strategically using narrative persuasion to promote positive attitudes toward depression in different cultural contexts.
This study is the first to test the use of narratives to promote positive attitudes toward depression in different cultural contexts.
Ma, Z., Nan, X., Qin, Y. and Zhou, P. (2018), "Using narrative persuasion to promote positive attitudes toward depression in different cultural contexts", Health Education, Vol. 118 No. 3, pp. 239-249. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-08-2017-0041Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited