Susan Guadarrama

Major and Classification


Faculty Mentor

Viviane Seyranian, Ph.D.


Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

McNair Project

“Overt Versus Covert Framing of Environmental Messages in Narrative Film”

Project Abstract

There has been a rise in environmentally themed films in the past decade. Many of these films have chosen to implement a narrative framework, but have differed in the extent to which they directly address the targeted environmental issue. While some have been overt in their framing, others have chosen a more covert strategy. This study investigated the effects of narrative framing and considers the implication of that framing in regards to an environmental message. Twenty-two university students were exposed to a film with either overt or covert framing and asked to complete pre-and post surveys which included the New Ecological Paradigm measure for environmental beliefs. Measures drawn from factors of the extended elaboration likelihood model of persuasion were also included in the surveys and examined throughout. The findings of the study suggest a slight difference in environmental beliefs between the pre- and post study for the film with covert framing, but no change between the pre- and post beliefs for the film with overt framing. Additionally, it was found that the film with covert framing resulted in greater absorption and identification and less reactance from participants, when compared to the film with overt framing. While the sample size was relatively small, the results indicate a relationship between the framing and acceptance of a message. This research reflects past research findings on the persuasiveness of narrative communication to the extent that they utilize covert framing.