Is Storytelling a Science?

Stories have the power to hold human attention and shape our thinking.

Master storytellers are wizards who lull us into a trance.  When entranced by story, we lose track of our immediate surroundings as our minds teleport us into an alternative story universe.


Humans live in a storm of stories. We live in stories all day long, and dream in stories all night long. We communicate through stories and learn from them. We collapse gratefully into stories after a long day at work. Without personal life stories to organize our experience, our own lives would lack coherence and meaning.

Most of us think of stories as a way to pleasantly while away our leisure time. Is there any evidence that story is actually effective in influencing us–in modifying our thinking and behavior? Yes. Lots.  They infect the audience and have the unique power to change minds.

Is it now time for the next wave in storytelling?  The digital revolution has put a massive number of new and powerful tools at the storyteller’s disposal. And if technology has revolutionized our tools, shouldn’t this lead to a revolution in the stories themselves?

Everything in the digital universe is two-way, interactive, and collaborative. Interactivity seems to be the holy grail… but is that good?

Interaction is precisely what most of us don’t want during story time. Wouldn’t you rather have the sensation of falling through the pages of a book and losing track of yourself in a land of make-believe.

Excerpts from Fast Company articles by Jonathan Gottschall


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