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This research applies narrative persuasion theory to participatory websites. Specifically, the study examines the joint effect of online review structure (narrative/nonnarrative) and source attributes (expert/nonexpert) on attitude strength (attitude certainty and intensity). Results demonstrate that source attributes moderate the relationship between transportation and attitude intensity but not attitude certainty. These findings advance transportation theory by illuminating that readers glean source attributes on participatory websites, and these attributes modify transportation effects. The findings offer implications for participatory websites and design features that may facilitate or hinder readers in their quest to make decisions based on the reviews they read.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Communication Research Reports, volume 34, issue 3, in 2017, available online at DOI: 10.1080/08824096.2017.1285759. It may differ slightly from the final version of record.


Eastern Communication Association

Available for download on Sunday, September 02, 2018