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The Role of Narrative Format in Improving Narrative Transport and Empathy among Fiction and Non Fiction Readers

*Setiawati Intan Savitri orcid scopus  -  Universitas Mercu Buana Jakarta, Indonesia
Farhah Kamilatun Nuha  -  Universitas Taruma Negara, Indonesia
Open Access Copyright (c) 2021 Jurnal Psikologi

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether non-fiction (news) and fiction (short story) narrative formats
could have different effects in increasing narrative transport and readers’ empathy. The study was conducted
using an experimental pre-posttest method and two groups designed. Participants of 62 students (male = 19,
female = 43, Mage= 21.6) were randomly assigned to two groups of reading conditions (non-fiction vs. fiction),
then their level of empathy and narrative transport were measured after manipulation/treatment. The measures
used were the Narrative Transport Questionnaire and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The statistical analysis
method used was the MANCOVA test. Differences in conditions (non-fiction vs. fiction) as independent
variables, baseline narrative transport score and empathy as covariates to be controlled. The test results between
the group multivariate test showed that there was a significant difference between the reading groups of non-
fiction and fiction on narrative transport and readers’ empathy simultaneously after controlling for the pre-test
narrative transport and pre-test empathy variables, F(2, 57) = 3.291, p < .05, Wilks’ Λ = .896, with power ηp2 =
.104 (10.4%). The univariate test on each dependent variable (empathy, narrative transport) in terms of text
reading (non-fiction vs. fiction), after controlling for covariates (pre-test empathy, pre-test narrative transport),
only differed significantly in the dependent variable narrative transport, F(5, 55) , p < 0.05, with ηp2 = .087 (8.7%),
but not significant on the dependent variable empathy. The discussion is related to the familiarity of the reader
towards the main character in non-fiction and fiction texts


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Keywords: reading; fiction; non-fiction; narrative transport; empathy

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