About this Research Topic
Can stories help viewers or readers to face fundamental fears, overcome psychological hurdles, and increase their psychological wellbeing? If so, which story aspects play a role in producing these effects? Entertainment and literary research suggests that stories about the fundamental human condition can move and inspire viewers, motivate them to feel part of a bigger whole, and soothe existential concerns such as the fear of death of audiences. In addition, qualitative health research has shown that narrative writing can contribute to patient wellbeing. Connecting these research domains to the field of health communication, the present Research Topic aims to examine the effects of stories on psychological wellbeing. We are interested in research that examines the interplay between story aspects and receiver processes on psychological outcomes, such as resilience, self-esteem, and relatedness.
We are looking for contributions that provide empirical evidence on how narratives (books, movies) can satisfy fundamental human motives and contribute to psychological wellbeing in the following way:
• Aspects of story, e.g., different story types, genre, viewpoint
• Psychologically relevant contexts and issues, e.g., trauma, stigma, existential fears
• Viewer characteristics, e.g. previous knowledge, personal experience, fundamental needs
• Intermediate processes, e.g., mixed affect, reflective thoughts, identification, health beliefs
We welcome Original Research articles, as well as Reviews, Systematic Reviews, and Hypothesis and Theory articles.
Keywords: Narratives, psychological wellbeing, books, movies, existential motives, mental processes
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.