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Using EEG to Examine the Role of Attention, Working Memory, Emotion, and Imagination in Narrative Transportation

Gordon, R., Ciorciari, J. and van Laer, T. (2017). Using EEG to Examine the Role of Attention, Working Memory, Emotion, and Imagination in Narrative Transportation. European Journal of Marketing, doi: 10.1108/EJM-12-2016-0881

Abstract

This paper presents a study using encephalography (EEG) to investigate consumer responses to narrative videos in energy efficiency social marketing. The purpose is to assess the role of attention, working memory, emotion, and imagination in narrative transportation, and how these stages of narrative transportation are ordered temporally.

Design/methodology/approach
Consumers took part in an EEG experiment during which they were shown four different narrative videos to identify brain response during specific video segments.

Findings
The study found that during the opening segment of the videos, attention, working memory, and emotion were high before attenuating with some introspection at the end of this segment. During the story segment of the videos attention, working memory, and emotion were also high, with attention decreasing later on but working memory, emotion, and imagination being evident. Consumer responses to each of the four videos differed.

Practical implications
The study suggests that narratives can be a useful approach in energy efficiency social marketing. Specifically, marketers should attempt to gain focused attention and invoke emotional responses, working memory, and imagination to help consumers become narratively transported. The fit between story object and story-receiver should also be considered when creating consumer narratives.

Social implications
Policy makers, and organisations who wish to promote pro-social behaviours such as using energy efficiently, or eating healthily should consider using narratives.

Originality/value
This research contributes to theory by identifying brain response relating to attention, working memory, emotion, and imagination during specific stages of narrative transportation. The study considers the role of attention, emotion, working memory, and imagination during reception of stories with different objects, and how these may relate to consumers' narrative transportation.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Narrative transportation, EEG, attention, working memory, emotion, imagination, social marketing, energy efficiency
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: Cass Business School > Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18069
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