Storytelling and the brain

Happy New Year, everyone!

One of the first chapters we wrote for our „Agile Publishing“ book was the text about Storytelling. Storytelling is a topic really important in digital publishing since there are a lot more opportunities to compile together media experiences. So when starting to write the chapter I conducted a lot of research about the mechanisms in our brain when listening to stories. I found this study here particularly interesting:

Another example of how the brain links the literal and the metaphorical comes from a study by Lawrence Williams of the University of Colorado and John Bargh of Yale. Volunteers would meet one of the experimenters, believing that they would be starting the experiment shortly. In reality, the experiment began when the experimenter, seemingly struggling with an armful of folders, asks the volunteer to briefly hold their coffee. As the key experimental manipulation, the coffee was either hot or iced. Subjects then read a description of some individual, and those who had held the warmer cup tended to rate the individual as having a warmer personality, with no change in ratings of other attributes.  
– Source:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/this-is-your-brain-on-metaphors  

I think this tells a lot about how our brain links stories to real experiences. And this is something we can use greatly in publishing. In our book we are describing some ways to tell great stories and showcasing the anatomy of some digital publishing case studies. Here are some other reading tips for storytelling and the human brain:

Do you have any case studies about great storytelling we should cover in the book? Tell us!    

– Georg

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