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Affective-News Theory: Effects of Narrative Structure on Suspense, Curiosity, and Enjoyment While Reading News and Novels
Unformatted Document Text:  News Narratives 9 experiment from four experimental news articles. The main study, a 2x3 design with paper-pencil procedure, presented texts as either news articles or novel excerpts written in one of three narrative structures (linear, with omission, inverted pyramid). Audience evaluations of suspense, curiosity, and information value were collected for each experimental text. Pilot Study Respondents. Students of an experimentation seminar recruited volunteers to participate in a web-based field experiment. After ten cases were excluded from the sample, based on a check for thoroughness of the time measurement data, the resulting sample consisted of 95 participants. Most participants were university students (49%), and most were males (59%). They were randomly assigned to experimental groups. Cell sizes of the experimental groups were either 21 or 23, with the only exception being a 30-participant cell for the group with omission structure presented as a novel excerpt. Stimulus material. All texts were written by students who worked as freelancers in journalism. One text portrayed a youth suspected of breaking into a supermarket, which he supposedly entered by unfortunate accident. Another text featured the murder of a mayor’s wife by her former lover. A third text reported the kidnapping of a teen girl by her jealous father who could not overcome his divorce from the girl’s mother. The three articles, on average, consisted of 406 words (mean across experimental versions, SD = 32), 595 words (SD =17), and 348 words (SD = 28), respectively. To manipulate the narrative structure, text segments were arranged such that the manner in which the supermarket was entered, or the identity of the culprits, was revealed either in accordance with event structure or at the end of the text. To manipulate authenticity, the texts were presented either in newspaper-article format or as novel excerpts. The news article versions featured a newspaper logo and a fictitious writer’s name, and the body text was written in two columns. The novel excerpt showed a book cover along with the same fictitious writer’s name, and the body text formed one broad column. Minor details were adjusted in the texts proper, such as stating protagonists’ ages in brackets (articles)

Authors: Knobloch, Silvia. and Carpentier, Francesca.
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News Narratives 9
experiment from four experimental news articles. The main study, a 2x3 design with paper-pencil
procedure, presented texts as either news articles or novel excerpts written in one of three narrative
structures (linear, with omission, inverted pyramid). Audience evaluations of suspense, curiosity, and
information value were collected for each experimental text.
Pilot Study
Respondents. Students of an experimentation seminar recruited volunteers to participate in a
web-based field experiment. After ten cases were excluded from the sample, based on a check for
thoroughness of the time measurement data, the resulting sample consisted of 95 participants. Most
participants were university students (49%), and most were males (59%). They were randomly
assigned to experimental groups. Cell sizes of the experimental groups were either 21 or 23, with the
only exception being a 30-participant cell for the group with omission structure presented as a novel
excerpt.
Stimulus material. All texts were written by students who worked as freelancers in journalism.
One text portrayed a youth suspected of breaking into a supermarket, which he supposedly entered by
unfortunate accident. Another text featured the murder of a mayor’s wife by her former lover. A third
text reported the kidnapping of a teen girl by her jealous father who could not overcome his divorce
from the girl’s mother. The three articles, on average, consisted of 406 words (mean across
experimental versions, SD = 32), 595 words (SD =17), and 348 words (SD = 28), respectively. To
manipulate the narrative structure, text segments were arranged such that the manner in which the
supermarket was entered, or the identity of the culprits, was revealed either in accordance with event
structure or at the end of the text. To manipulate authenticity, the texts were presented either in
newspaper-article format or as novel excerpts. The news article versions featured a newspaper logo and
a fictitious writer’s name, and the body text was written in two columns. The novel excerpt showed a
book cover along with the same fictitious writer’s name, and the body text formed one broad column.
Minor details were adjusted in the texts proper, such as stating protagonists’ ages in brackets (articles)


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