Tag Archives: Storytelling

‘Storytelling is your best weapon for convincing people’ | The Psychologist

By British Psychological Society, UK, February 2022

From article…

There’s the science of storytelling, stories about science, and storytelling in science – bringing elements of storytelling to traditional forms like the journal article. Is that a distinction you’ve considered?

Definitely. I’ve done lots of writing about science and had to wrestle with some of the inherent tensions around with that: one of the main ones being that mass market storytelling tends towards simplification and good science tends towards nuance and complexity.

For example, there’s often a pressure to identify the hero of the story – this amazing person who discovered this amazing thing – and of course the reality is usually a team of amazing people.

Some scientists seem to think storytelling goes beyond simplification, to handwaving and fabrication, a means of obscuring and misdirecting…

Yes, and for good reason… if you want to mislead people or sell them your one-eyed view of the world, then storytelling is the best way to do it. It’s as dangerous as it is helpful. But there are ways around that. You don’t have to use storytelling for its most egregious purposes.

There are some basic understandings in the science of storytelling that are separate from this – especially things around structure, cause and effect, and simplicity. For my work I have to read a lot of books written by scientists, and even though I’m fascinated by them, they’re often a real struggle for a layperson like me to get through. They don’t understand some of these basic storytelling ideas. They’re often very discursive, over-complex, tend towards jargon… even the ones that are written for the mass market are sometimes like this. All scientists, but especially ones that are interested in engaging with the public, would be well advised to take some of these basic ideas seriously.

Source: ‘Storytelling is your best weapon for convincing people’ | The Psychologist

Made of honor | Hidden Brain Podcast | Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain

Photo by meo on Pexels.com

Stories help us make sense of the world, and can even help us to heal from trauma. They also shape our cultural narratives, for better and for worse.

This week on Hidden Brain, we conclude our three-part series on storytelling with a look at the phenomenon of “honor culture,” and how it dictates the way we think and behave.

Editor’s Note: I recommend this podcast, and this episode noted. About social and personal psychology. There are additional readings on the link page.

Source: Made-of-Honor| Hidden Brain Podcast | Hidden Brain Media

Is there a scientific case for literature? A neuroscientist novelist argues yes | Salon.com

Illogical as it might seem, there may be an evolutionary reason that humans love consuming fiction

By Erik Hoel, April 18, 2021 11:30PM (UTC)
A parent and child tell each other stories inside a cosy tent lit up in a dark room of their home (Getty Images)

You do something strange every day. You consume fictions. It’s such an omnipresent habit, shared by all, that we rarely consider the oddity of it.

I’m a fiction writer myself, but I’m also a neuroscientist, so this activity fascinates me. What’s the cognitive utility of learning things that aren’t true? We’re evolved biological beings who need to understand the world to survive, and yet all facts we learn about Hogwarts are literally false. How can any of this information be useful?

Still, fictions surround us. I grew up in my mother’s independent bookstore and I’ve been a writer since I can remember. A significant change in my lifetime is that media, like TV channels, books, magazines, and films, have been condensed into a single one-stop shop: the screen. I call this the supersensorium. Screens are now supermarkets for entertaining experiences. Such easy access to fictions means we often binge watch, we stuff our faces.

The average American adult spends about half their day consuming screen media.

–from article

Source: Is there a scientific case for literature? A neuroscientist novelist argues yes | Salon.com