Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Melanie C. Green

Melanie C. Green

My current research interests fall into two general areas: attitudes and persuasion, and political psychology.

Within the area of persuasion, I have been particularly interested in the effects of narratives or stories on individuals' beliefs. In collaboration with Timothy Brock, I have investigated the mechanisms by which narrative-based belief change might occur. Specifically, we have explored a process we call "transportation into narrative world", a type of mental involvement in narratives that may facilitate the integration of knowledge from the narrative world into real-world judgments. Along with Jennifer Garst, we have also been attempting to identify the conditions under which individuals might differentiate between factual and fictional narratives; to date, we have found that fictional stories often have an influence on individuals' opinions that is comparable to that of factual narratives.

In the political psychology domain, I have been examining the individual bases of social capital--the networks, norms, and trust that allow individuals to act together for collective goals. Research suggests that social capital has been declining in recent decades in the United States (Putnam, 2000). One of the proposed causes for this decline is the rise of television. My research is investigating the mechanisms by which individuals might substitute relationships with media characters for real relationships; in other words, how do television and other media contribute to the observed decrease in social capital? I am also exploring the role of the Internet in creating or reducing community and social bonds.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Communication, Language
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Health Psychology
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Political Psychology

Research Group or Laboratory:


Journal Articles:

  • Green, M. C. (2004). Transportation into narrative worlds: The role of prior knowledge and perceived realism. Discourse Processes, 38(2), 247-266.
  • Green, M. C., & Brock, T. C. (2000). The role of transportation in the persuasiveness of public narratives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(5), 701-721.
  • Green, M. C., & Brock, T. C. (1998). Trust, mood, and outcomes of friendship predict preferences for real versus ersatz social capital. Political Psychology, 19(3), 527-544.
  • Green, M. C., Brock, T. C., & Kaufman, G. F. (2004). Understanding media enjoyment: The role of transportation into narrative worlds. Communication Theory, 14(4), 311-327.
  • Green, M. C., Visser, P. S., & Tetlock, P. E. (2000). Coping with accountability cross-pressures: Low-effort evasive tactics and high-effort quests for integrative complexity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26(11), 1380-1391.
  • Sabini, J., & Green, M. C. (2004). Emotional responses to sexual and emotional infidelity: Constants and differences across genders, samples, and methods. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(11), 1375-1388.
  • Tetlock, P. E., Kristel, O. V., Elson, S. B., Green, M. C., & Lerner, J. (2000). The psychology of the unthinkable: Taboo trade-offs, forbidden base rates, and heretical counterfactuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(5), 853-870.
  • Wheeler, S. C., Green, M. C., & Brock, T. C. (1999). Fictional narratives change beliefs: Replications of Prentice, Gerrig, & Bailis (1997) with mixed corroboration. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 6(1), 136-141.

Other Publications:

  • Green, M. C., Garst, J., & Brock, T. C. (2004). The power of fiction: Persuasion via imagination and narrative. In L. J. Shrum (Ed.), The Psychology of entertainment media: Blurring the lines between entertainment and persuasion (pp. 161-176). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Courses Taught:

  • Attitude Change
  • Seminar in Attitude Research
  • Seminar in Political Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Melanie C. Green
Department of Psychology
CB #3270, Davie Hall
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
United States of America

  • Phone: (919) 843-9113

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