Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Communication and Information



First Advisor

Dr. Bobi Ivanov


Society grapples with an array of intricate and intertwined social challenges, often characterized as wicked problems due to their multifaceted, persistent nature. The refugee crisis and food insecurity stand as poignant examples of these complex issues, with millions affected worldwide. In response to these challenges, there is a pressing need for individuals to engage in prosocial behaviors, aiming to alleviate the impacts of these crises.Against this backdrop, this dissertation delved into the realm of narrative persuasion to examine the effectiveness of restorative narratives and framing strategies as potential drivers of greater behavioral intentions. To address the hypotheses and research question, the current investigation utilized a 2 (narrative type: restorative vs non-restorative) x 2 (point of view: first-person vs third-person) x 2 (topic: refugee crisis vs food insecurity) between-subjects factorial experimental design. Qualtrics software was used to randomly assign the participants (N=440) to one of eight message conditions after which they were presented with a set of questions pertaining to transportation, identification, response efficacy, and prosocial behavioral intentions. A Structural Equational Modeling (SEM) analysis revealed that there were no significant effects of restorative narratives and points of view on transportation, identification, or response efficacy across both social issues.While the study did not yield definitive evidence supporting the efficacy of first-person point of view or restorative narratives, it offered valuable insights into the mechanisms at play. Notably, the findings indicate that response efficacy emerged as a significant factor in influencing prosocial intentions, particularly concerning the issue of food insecurity.Furthermore, the study underscored the pivotal roles of transportation and identification in eliciting stronger prosocial behavioral intentions, emphasizing their significance in the realm of narrative persuasion. These insights serve as a foundation for future research endeavors, aiming to address wicked social problems through the lens of persuasive narrative communication strategies.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Available for download on Friday, May 01, 2026