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MULTI-PLATFORM NARRATIVE
ENGAGEMENT
Pamela Rutledge, PhD, MBA
Director, Media Psychology Research Center
Faculty, Media Ps...
Start End
2 3 4 5 6
Transmedia Travel
Brain Science
Transportation Theory
Flow Theory
How Theories Fit Together
Psychologi...
TRANSMEDIA
is a fancy word for a
simple concept:
telling stories across
multiple platforms
Tim Kring
Hollywood Screenwrite...
Transmedia Journey
StoryWorld
Story
Awareness
Engagement Experience Explore
Engagement Path
StoryWorld
Create
anticipation
Provide signposts ...
Success Without A Plan
Reduce the Costs of Travel
•  Practical
–  Time
–  Money
–  Access
–  Knowledge/Ability
•  Psychological
–  Effort
–  Choi...
Make the Trip?
WHY
Success Lies in Psychology
People use media and
technology to satisfy needs,
we can design to anticipate
fundamental human goals*
*If we figure out w...
Start Here è
Emotional Brain
Reptilian Brain
New Brain
Triune Brian Theory: 3 in 1
SIGHT
SOUND
TASTE
SMELL
TOUCH
70%
New brain
Old brain
It’s not the size the counts
Instinct Over Intention
Experience is Holistic
Experience
Goals
Emotions
SensesInstincts
Beliefs
Seeing is Believing
Imagining is Believing
We are
storytelling
animals
Ruled by
instinct and
emotion
OLD BRAIN NEW BRAIN
Emotions Skill-building
Visual images Responsive feedback
Pain and gain Participation, ownership
User-...
Narrative Transportation
•  Being transported into a fictional world
•  Components:
–  Cognitive Engagement
–  Emotional E...
Narrative Becomes Sticky
•  Increased self-reference
•  Greater enjoyment
•  Lower cognitive resistance to
persuasion
•  M...
•  Challenging activity requiring skill
•  Merging of action and awareness
•  Clear goals with feedback
•  Concentration o...
Loss Of Sense
Of Time
Clear
Goal
Sense Of
Accomplishment
Experience Of
Place
Empathy
Lack Of Self
Consciousness
and Physic...
Unconscious Processing: Attention + Perception
Task-Based
•  Goal importance
•  Skill/Knowledge
•  Feedback
•  Action = Ex...
Challenge
Skill
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Flow Channel
Boredom
Anxiety
FLOW
Challenge
Skill
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Flow Channel
Boredom
Anxiety
USER PATH
FLOW
Tension
Release
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Satisfaction
USER PATH
Frustration
NARRATIVE TRANSPORTATION
Narrative
Channel
Challenge
Skill
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Flow Channel
Boredom
Anxiety
Decreasing
Challenge
Less
Demanding
Skills
Increasin...
Decreasing
Tension
Decreasing
Release
Increasing
Tension
Increasing
Release
Tension
Release
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Satis...
Challenge
Skill
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Flow Channel
Boredom
Anxiety
FLOW EXIT POINTS
FLOW
Tension
Release
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Narrative
Channel
Boredom
Anxiety
NARRATIVE
EXIT POINTS
NARRATIVE TRANSPORTATION
Anchor: Website
Stores
@TOMS
Facebook
TOMS Channel
Transmedia Story: TOMS Shoes
Shoe Drops
Fan Created Content
Style Your
...
4
Tension
Release
HIGH
AROUSAL
LOW
AROUSAL
Narrative
Channel
Boredom
Anxiety
NARRATIVE
EXIT POINTS
NARRATIVE TRANSPORTATION
•  Simple, compelling and believable origins
story
•  Simplification of larger problem (poverty) to
human level (children ...
•  Fans appropriated story, connecting with each
other
•  Highly sharable media and activities to support
growing communit...
‘East Los High’
Anchor: Hulu Videos Website
@eastloshighshow Facebook
Transmedia Story: ‘East Los High’
Character Vlogs
School Newspaper
I...
•  Strong story based on theory
–  Sabido Methodology
–  Dramatic theory for characters and structure (Brewer)
–  Emotiona...
•  Clear “signposts” on every medium
•  Offers value proposition in skills & resources (mastery)
•  Provides hub for socia...
StoryWorld
Story
Awareness
Engagement Experience Explore
Engagement Path
StoryWorld
Create
anticipation
Provide signposts ...
StoryWorld
Actionable
Content
Story
Awareness
Engagement Action Transformation
Sustainable Engagement
Source: Adapted from...
•  Psychology emphasizes audience-centric view
of transmedia journey
•  Neuroscience highlights the role of instinct in
na...
MULTI-PLATFORM NARRATIVE
ENGAGEMENT
Pamela Rutledge, PhD, MBA
Director, Media Psychology Research Center
Faculty, Media Ps...
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement
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The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement

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The psychology and neuroscience of story drive elements of narrative engagement and provide helpful keys to the design of structural and narrative elements to keep the user in the ‘transportation zone.’

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The Transmedia Trip: The Psychology of Multi-Platform Engagement

  1. 1. MULTI-PLATFORM NARRATIVE ENGAGEMENT Pamela Rutledge, PhD, MBA Director, Media Psychology Research Center Faculty, Media Psychology, Fielding Graduate University pamelarutledge@gmail.com @pamelarutledge PSYCHOLOGY OF THE TRANSMEDIA TRIP
  2. 2. Start End 2 3 4 5 6 Transmedia Travel Brain Science Transportation Theory Flow Theory How Theories Fit Together Psychological Boosts 1 2 3 4 5 6 1
  3. 3. TRANSMEDIA is a fancy word for a simple concept: telling stories across multiple platforms Tim Kring Hollywood Screenwriter and Producer Creator, Heroes and Conspiracy for Good
  4. 4. Transmedia Journey
  5. 5. StoryWorld Story Awareness Engagement Experience Explore Engagement Path StoryWorld Create anticipation Provide signposts Develop artifacts and rituals Multiple channels, gaps Source: Adapted from http://www.slideshare.net/sioflynn
  6. 6. Success Without A Plan
  7. 7. Reduce the Costs of Travel •  Practical –  Time –  Money –  Access –  Knowledge/Ability •  Psychological –  Effort –  Choice –  Estimation of value
  8. 8. Make the Trip? WHY
  9. 9. Success Lies in Psychology
  10. 10. People use media and technology to satisfy needs, we can design to anticipate fundamental human goals* *If we figure out what they are therefore
  11. 11. Start Here è
  12. 12. Emotional Brain Reptilian Brain New Brain Triune Brian Theory: 3 in 1
  13. 13. SIGHT SOUND TASTE SMELL TOUCH
  14. 14. 70% New brain Old brain It’s not the size the counts
  15. 15. Instinct Over Intention
  16. 16. Experience is Holistic Experience Goals Emotions SensesInstincts Beliefs
  17. 17. Seeing is Believing
  18. 18. Imagining is Believing
  19. 19. We are storytelling animals Ruled by instinct and emotion
  20. 20. OLD BRAIN NEW BRAIN Emotions Skill-building Visual images Responsive feedback Pain and gain Participation, ownership User-centric, personal Social validation Safety Empathy Narrative Motivational Goals Attention starts here
  21. 21. Narrative Transportation •  Being transported into a fictional world •  Components: –  Cognitive Engagement –  Emotional Engagement –  Mental Imagery •  Accepts laws & logic of storyworld •  Creates sense of presence and immersion
  22. 22. Narrative Becomes Sticky •  Increased self-reference •  Greater enjoyment •  Lower cognitive resistance to persuasion •  More accepting of narrative discrepancies •  Facilitates recall and learning
  23. 23. •  Challenging activity requiring skill •  Merging of action and awareness •  Clear goals with feedback •  Concentration on activity •  Sense of control •  Loss of self-consciousness and time Flow: Optimal Engagement
  24. 24. Loss Of Sense Of Time Clear Goal Sense Of Accomplishment Experience Of Place Empathy Lack Of Self Consciousness and Physical Surroundings Identity- Enhancing Activity Overt Narrative And Characters Conscious Directed Focus Conscious Sense of Presence Emotion-Enhancing Activity FLOW NARRATIVE Flow vs. Narrative
  25. 25. Unconscious Processing: Attention + Perception Task-Based •  Goal importance •  Skill/Knowledge •  Feedback •  Action = Expectations •  Self-efficacy •  Directed focus •  Social validation & connection Narrative-Based •  Self-Relevance (Identity) •  Creative ambiguity •  Feedback •  Action = Discovery •  Agency •  Emotional activation •  Social connection •  Transformation Conscious Processing: Meaning Making
  26. 26. Challenge Skill HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Flow Channel Boredom Anxiety FLOW
  27. 27. Challenge Skill HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Flow Channel Boredom Anxiety USER PATH FLOW
  28. 28. Tension Release HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Satisfaction USER PATH Frustration NARRATIVE TRANSPORTATION Narrative Channel
  29. 29. Challenge Skill HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Flow Channel Boredom Anxiety Decreasing Challenge Less Demanding Skills Increasing Challenge Increasing Skills FLOW
  30. 30. Decreasing Tension Decreasing Release Increasing Tension Increasing Release Tension Release HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Satisfaction Frustration NARRATIVE TRANSPORTATION Narrative Channel
  31. 31. Challenge Skill HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Flow Channel Boredom Anxiety FLOW EXIT POINTS FLOW
  32. 32. Tension Release HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Narrative Channel Boredom Anxiety NARRATIVE EXIT POINTS NARRATIVE TRANSPORTATION
  33. 33. Anchor: Website Stores @TOMS Facebook TOMS Channel Transmedia Story: TOMS Shoes Shoe Drops Fan Created Content Style Your Sole Parties Day Without Shoes @BlakeMykowskie Google+
  34. 34. 4
  35. 35. Tension Release HIGH AROUSAL LOW AROUSAL Narrative Channel Boredom Anxiety NARRATIVE EXIT POINTS NARRATIVE TRANSPORTATION
  36. 36. •  Simple, compelling and believable origins story •  Simplification of larger problem (poverty) to human level (children with no shoes) •  Equate consumer behavior with positive social outcome – ego enhancement •  Unique - early entrant new business model •  Group affiliation, social identity What Makes TOMS Work?
  37. 37. •  Fans appropriated story, connecting with each other •  Highly sharable media and activities to support growing community •  Linked and reinforced offline and online actions •  Rituals and artifacts continually trigger narrative experience •  Provides audience with feedback about results of their actions •  Maintains authenticity and continually reinforces identity How Does TOMS Bridge the Gaps?
  38. 38. ‘East Los High’
  39. 39. Anchor: Hulu Videos Website @eastloshighshow Facebook Transmedia Story: ‘East Los High’ Character Vlogs School Newspaper InstagramTumblr Links to Resources Dance Videos
  40. 40. •  Strong story based on theory –  Sabido Methodology –  Dramatic theory for characters and structure (Brewer) –  Emotional and realistic content –  Archetypal characters (Jung) –  Social Learning Theory: Transitional characters model realistic change (Bandura) –  Frequency allows creation of parasocial relationships (intimacy at a distance, Horton & Wohl) •  Narrative stays true across media –  Enhances suspension of disbelief (Bruner) What Makes ‘East Los High’ Work?
  41. 41. •  Clear “signposts” on every medium •  Offers value proposition in skills & resources (mastery) •  Provides hub for social connection and affiliation •  Access to alternate media fills time gap between episodes •  Validates teen experience •  Content creation creates stakeholders •  Encourages & values audience •  Soap opera/telenovela format uses emotional narrative devices (e.g., cliffhangers) •  Models behavioral choice/demonstrates hope & resilience How Does ‘East Los High’ Bridge the Gaps?
  42. 42. StoryWorld Story Awareness Engagement Experience Explore Engagement Path StoryWorld Create anticipation Provide signposts Develop artifacts and rituals Multiple channels, gaps Source: Adapted from http://www.slideshare.net/sioflynn
  43. 43. StoryWorld Actionable Content Story Awareness Engagement Action Transformation Sustainable Engagement Source: Adapted from Lina Srivastava http://transmedia-activism.com/ Story Immersion StoryWorld
  44. 44. •  Psychology emphasizes audience-centric view of transmedia journey •  Neuroscience highlights the role of instinct in narrative experience •  Increases persuasion, diminishes resistance •  Human behavior varies but goals and needs are stable •  Combines with other metrics for richer analysis of results Getting to the ‘Why’
  45. 45. MULTI-PLATFORM NARRATIVE ENGAGEMENT Pamela Rutledge, PhD, MBA Director, Media Psychology Research Center Faculty, Media Psychology, Fielding Graduate University pamelarutledge@gmail.com @pamelarutledge PSYCHOLOGY OF THETRANSMEDIATRIP THANKYOU

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