Narrative engagement and reading performance on digital and printed platforms

Olli Nurmi, Janne Laine, Timo Kuula

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Narrative transportation theory proposes that when people lose themselves in a story, their attitudes and intentions change to reflect that story. Travel can be used as a metaphor for reading to conceptualize narrative transportation as a state of detachment from the world of origin that the story receiver experiences because of his or her engrossment in the story. The state of narrative transportation makes the world of origin partially inaccessible to the story receiver, thus marking a clear separation in terms of here/there and now/before, or narrative world/world of origin. Narrative engagement is part of narrative transportation and it consists of four dimensions: narrative understanding, attentional focus, emotional engagement and narrative presence. This study compares the narrative engagement that reading novel-type texts evokes using either a printed book or an eBook as the reading platform. A reading test in controlled laboratory conditions was conducted and the results show that there were no statistically significant differences in narrative engagement. This result was verified in more natural reading environments through a qualitative study.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Print and Media Technology Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • ebooks
    • printed books
    • narrative engagement
    • reading speed
    • comprehension


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