Meegesleept in de wereld van het verhaal? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



A recent study among young readers (n = 83) concluded that the way the protagonist is portrayed (sympathetic, neutral or unsympathetic) plays a key role in transportation (De Graaf & Hustinx, 2015). In view of the importance of this conclusion, two replications were performed among comparable groups of readers. In the first, direct replication (n = 79) the same story was used as in the original study. The second, conceptual replication (n = 81) used another story. Just like the original study, both replications used story versions that differed in the way the protagonist was portrayed, and both replications measured the same variables as the original study. Analyses of the results of the original study and the two replications cast doubt on the conclusion drawn in the original study. In the original study some of the predicted effects of text version on transportation were found, others were not. In the replications none of these effects were found to be significant. Meta-analyses of the findings in the original study and the replications revealed small effects of story version on transportation measures. Neither the replications nor the meta-analyses provided support for the mediating effect hypothesised in De Graaf and Hustinx of transportation on the relationship between the ways the protagonist was portrayed and readers’ beliefs. As the statistical power of the analyses in the three separate studies was limited, new studies with larger numbers of participants are recommended.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): empathy; meta-analysis; narrative; protagonist; replication; sympathy; transportation
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