How Stories Change the Brain

This is an article published by Paul Zak in 2013 storytelling-brain-2which details his research about the power that storytelling has on the brain. I have also included a quick video about his findings. This is yet another fascinating development in what we already understand as true: Stories Stick With Us!

How Stories Change the Brain

By Paul J. Zak

Everyone can relate to this story. An innocent treated unfairly, and a protector who seeks to right the wrong—but can only do so by finding the courage to change himself and become a better person.

A recent analysis identifies this “hero’s journey” story as the foundation for more than half of the movies that come out of Hollywood, and countless books of fiction and nonfiction. And, if you take a look, this structure is in the majority of the most-watched TED talks.

Why are we so attracted to stories? My lab has spent the last several years seeking to understand why stories can move us to tears, change our attitudes, opinions and behaviors, and even inspire us—and how stories change our brains, often for the better. Here’s what we’ve learned.

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