News Narratives 14

Results

*Text Appreciation Scales *

*Pilot study. *Ratings of the dependent measures in the pilot study were condensed for each item

as means across all three given texts (supermarket, mayor’s wife, and kidnapping). These variables, fill

word items excluded, were subjected to a factor analysis varimax rotation that yielded two factors

accounting for 56% and 14% of explained variance. The first factor formed a suspense dimension with

high loadings of "thrilling" (.84), "grip" (.81), "exciting" (.78), "excited" (.74), and "sympathize" (.71).

Items for curiosity converged in the second factor: "mysterious" (.89), "secretive/puzzling" (.85),

"enigmatic" (.84), and "wonder" (.79). The remaining items "expectant," "curious," and "in suspense"

each showed loadings above .42 on the alternative factor and were not considered as differentiating (the

two latter, although labeling the two dimensions of affective reactions, have a very broad meaning in

colloquial German, comparable to "interested"). Results of the factor analysis, thus, attested to the

postulated response dimensions. To attain very compact measures, the three items with the highest

loadings were condensed as means, resulting in two three-item scales for suspense (*alpha* = .80) and for

curiosity (*alpha* = .90).

*Pretest. *Dependent measures in the pretest, except for fill words, were subjected to a factor

analysis with varimax rotation as well. The resulting three factors accounted for 39%, 24%, and 16% of

explained variance and represented curiosity, suspense, and information evaluation, thus attested to the

postulated response dimensions. The first factor showed high loadings for "mysterious" (.94),

"enigmatic" (.92), and "secretive" (.84), whereas "gripping" (.91), "thrilling" (.90), and "exciting" (.87)

converged on the second factor. The third dimension pertained to the information evaluation with

"sound" (.89), "objective" (.87), and "informative" (.59). All loadings on other factors were negligible

(<.30). Based on high inter-item consistencies, measures were condensed for suspense (*alpha* = .90),

curiosity (*alpha* = .91), and information evaluation (*alpha* = .73).