The Repetition-Break Plot Structure: A Tool for Persuasion


The Repetition-Break plot structure, which capitalizes on how people learn through drawing comparisons, generates persuasive narratives. In two experiments, we show that television advertisements using the Repetition-Break plot structure are persuasive, leading to higher brand attitudes and purchase intentions than ads with alternative structures. This effect is partly attributable to comparison-induced surprise. Thus, we have evidence that a theoretically explainable and generic plot structure not only makes for interesting stories, it also makes those stories effective for persuasion.

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