Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Bracken, Cheryl

Subject Headings

Mass media -- Objectivity, Telepresence, Narration (Rhetoric), telepresence, presence, dissociation of source from content, narrative, transportation, emotion, credibility


This thesis explores what media users perceive about the authors and creators of narrative media based solely on the content of that media itself. It contrasts traditional notions of source credibility (established via rhetoric or debate) versus models of media effects which exert themselves through mere exposure to message, and where a direct evaluation of the message source may be neither salient nor possible. A sample of nine undergraduates were individually interviewed in order to investigate the thematic trends associated with the perceptions of credibility and of authorial source while exposed to narrative. The interviews gave rise to the notion that narratives are subject to credibility judgments based on the emotional salience of the characters' responses plot elements, rather than on the factuality of the material, or rather than upon any perceptions of authorial expertise with regards to the subjects broached by the narrative

Included in

Communication Commons