Kobie van Krieken

Health Narratives


Kobie van Krieken

PhD student

Radboud University


Kobie van Krieken studied Dutch Language and Culture and Business Communication Studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen. She graduated with studies on the persuasive effects of personal narratives in health communication and the effects of personal narratives and egoistic and altruistic appeals in direct mail from charitable organizations, respectively.

In 2010, Kobie received a Marie Curie fellowship. She has worked at the University of York as an Early Stage Researcher on the interdisciplinary Marie Curie Research Training Network Sound to Sense.

Kobie is currently a PhD-student at the department of Communication and Information Studies/Centre for Language Studies at the Radboud University.


Kobie is interested in the use of stories in daily communication and their cognitive and affective effects on the audience. Her PhD-project focuses on the form, function, and impact of journalistic narratives about highly disturbing criminal acts (e.g., a mother who strangles her children, an adolescent who starts shooting around in a shopping mall). Journalists increasingly employ various literary storytelling techniques in background stories covering such acts, including the manipulation of perspective and tense. These techniques constitute narrative reconstructions of the lives and acts of perpetrators.

Kobie analyzes the storytelling techniques employed in journalistic background stories by using frameworks from both literary theory and cognitive linguistics (Mental Space Theory). She also studies the impact of these techniques on the readers’ understanding and evaluation of a perpetrator’s behavior.


Narratives, journalism, cognitive linguistics, persuasion


Van Krieken, K., Hoeken, H., & Sanders, J. (2014). The social effects of journalistic crime narratives. Paper presented at the StoryNet Workshop. Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Budapest, June 27-28.

Van Krieken, K., Hoeken, H., & Sanders, J. (2014). From reader to mediated witness: The effects of journalistic narratives about shocking news events. Paper presented at Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap, Wageningen University, February 3-4.

Van Krieken, K., & Hornikx, J. (2013). De effecten van other-benefit appeals, self-benefit appeals en exemplars bij het werven van vrijwilligers voor charitatieve organisaties. Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing, 35(1), 82-99.

Van Krieken, K., Sanders. J, & Hoeken, H. (2013). Representation and blending of viewpoints in journalistic narratives about shocking news events. Paper presented at the 5th International Language in the Media Conference. Queen Mary, University of London, September 28-30.

Van Krieken, K., & Sanders, J. (2013). Perspectives on incomprehensible acts: A cognitive linguistic approach to news genres on shocking news events. Paper presented at the workshop Pronouns and Perspective in Language and Literature. NIAS Wassenaar, January 16-17.