In this study, individuals were more influenced by information presented as a narrative than just by statistical information.
This study explored how types of information influence people’s behaviors during a crisis situation. Presenting information as a narrative has a persuasive effect on individuals’ decision-making behaviors. Narratives are most effective when information about the situation matches the narrative’s content. Activating affective responses (e.g., stress, anxiety) strongly affects decision behaviors. Narratives trigger a more heuristic way of processing information, which affects decision-making. This study demonstrated that narratives, either on their own or coupled with statistical information, are more effective at getting people to engage in specific behaviors than simply presenting statistical information alone.