Testing the persuasiveness of evidence: Combining narrative and statistical forms

Mike Allen, Rebecca Bruflat, Renée Fucilla, Michael Kramer, Steve McKellips, Daniel J. Ryan, Marieke Spiegelhoff
2000 Communication Research Reports  
This study provides an experimental test for the conclusions of the Allen and Preiss (1997) meta-analysis that statistical evidence is more persuasive than narrative evidence. This investigation extends that finding to consider the case where a message combines statistical and narrative evidence to determine if a combination of evidence is more effective than a single form of support. This investigation using 15 messages and 1,270 participants finds that a message combining narrative and
more » ... arrative and statistical evidence is more persuasive than a message using either narrative or statistical evidence alone. Message senders are inundated with advice regarding the effectiveness of various approaches. One method receiving almost universal support is the use of evidence or supporting material to bolster a conclusion. Reinard (1988) conducted a review of the quantitative literature dealing with the effectiveness of evidence and concluded that evidence was effec-Mike Allen (Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1987) is professor of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, 53201 where Ren^e Fucilla (B. A., Ripon College, 1992) and Steve McKellips (B.A., Marquette University, 1992) are graduate students. Rebecca Bruflat (M.A., Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1998) is a doctoral student in communication at the University of Texas, Austin, TX, 78712. Michael Kramer (M. A., Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1998) is a doctoral student in communication at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 55455. Daniel Ryan (MA., Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1998) is a doctoral student in communication at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77843. Marieke Spiegelhoff (M. A., Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1998) is an instructor in the
doi:10.1080/08824090009388781 fatcat:mzo7xj7bfzh5rghgvbfy24a6tu