Does storytelling for sustainability work? An experiment

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents the results of a field experiment conducted in the attempt of closing the research gap on SusTelling effects. The study explored the effects of text-based storytelling among adults aged 18–24 years on situational interest, personal consumption-related, and sustainability-related engagement intentions. In addition, the study investigated interactions with personal characteristics, such as affinity for sustainability and level of education. This chapter starts with a description of the research problem, which highlights the lack of knowledge on how storytelling can activate participation in social transformation processes. It then reports on the field experiment and two follow-up group discussions, conducted to explore the hypothesized effects. Results showed no differences concerning the effects of SusTelling journalistic texts and classic reporting style on the dependent variables. These results confirm earlier studies that storytelling effects are strongly influenced by the characteristics of the participants, the communication medium, and the reception situation. Different interpretations of the results are described at the end of this chapter, followed by recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNarrating Sustainability through Storytelling
EditorsDaniel Fischer, Sonja Fücker, Hanna Selm, Anna Sundermann
Number of pages19
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Publication date08.12.2022
ISBN (Print)9781032352695, 9781032352701
ISBN (Electronic)9781003326144
Publication statusPublished - 08.12.2022