Markus Appel

Health Narratives



Markus Appel

Professor at the Psychology Department of the

University of Koblenz-Landau


Markus is a professor at the Psychology Department of the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, where he heads the Communication Psychology and Media Education Institute. He obtained his Ph.D. (Dr. phil.) at the University of Cologne, Germany in 2004. Markus spent several years as an Assistant and Associate Professor at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria, before he moved to his current affiliation in 2013.

Recently, Markus has obtained a bi-national research grant on ‘emotional and cognitive processes underlying narrative persuasion’ (Austrian Science Fund FWF and German Research Foundation DFG, together with Tobias Richter) and a research grant on ‘social identity threat among immigrant adolescents’ (Austrian National Bank – Anniversary Fund). Markus is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Scientific Study of Literature, Journal of Communication and Media Psychology. He is a member of International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL), the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the International Communication Association (ICA).


The persuasive influence of stories has been a main focus of Markus’ research. He examined preconditions of being immersed or ‘transported’ into narrative worlds and related changes of beliefs and behavior. His research addressed the need for affect as a relevant recipient trait, as well as story characteristics and its accompanying information such as fact versus fiction labels. His recent research has focused on narratives and the self and the processes underlying narrative persuasion. In addition to pursuing his research on these topics he is currently interested in relating his research on stories, persuasion, and the self to two other active research topics, the antecedents and consequences of adolescents’ internet use, and stereotype and social identity threat.


Stories; Persuasion; Self; Internet; Stereotype Threat

Relevant publications

Appel, M., Stiglbauer, B., Batinic, B., & Holtz, P. (2014). Internet use and verbal aggression: The moderating role of parents and peers. Computers in Human Behavior, 33, 235-241. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.01.007

Appel, M. & Mara, M. (2013). The persuasive influence of a fictional character’s trustworthiness. Journal of Communication, 63, 912-932. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12053

Appel, M. (2012). Are heavy users of computer games and social media more computer literate? Computers & Education, 59, 1339-1350. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.06.004

Appel, M., Gnambs, T., & Maio, G. (2012). A short measure of the need for affect. Journal of Personality Assessment, 94, 418-426. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2012.666921

Appel, M., Holtz, P., Stiglbauer, B., & Batinic, B. (2012). Parents as a resource: Communication quality affects the relationship between adolescents’ Internet use and loneliness. Journal of Adolescence, 35, 1641-1648. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.08.003

Appel, M. & Maleckar, B. (2012). The influence of paratext on narrative persuasion. Fact, fiction, or fake? Human Communication Research, 38, 459-484. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2958.2012.01432.x

Appel, M. & Kronberger, N. (2012). Stereotype threat and the achievement gap: Stereotype threat prior to test taking. Educational Psychology Review, 24, 609-635. doi: 10.1007/s10648-012-9200-4