Anyone who reads knows stories have real power. Today I’ll be talking about that, and the science behind it!
First of all, humans interact with the world through stories. We are a compilation of the stories we most identify with. If you think you are smart, you are telling yourself a story about being smart. Our self-perception and the way we interact with others is all based on the stories we tell ourselves.
This is so important because if we have an incomplete story about a group of people, we may be led to conclusions that simply aren’t true. If we read more, we can understand things from differing perspectives rather than just one.
Secondly, stories help us learn. When we hear stories, we learn in more dimensions. Trying to learn through bullet points is like looking at the world in black and white. We see the information, and put it in our brains. Learning through stories is color! Not only do we get the facts, we get the experience tied with it, which can give a whole new meaning. Human brains work in a cause and effect way. Stories are told the same way we experience life, which makes them invaluable.
On top of all of that, stories activate parts of our brain as if we were actually participating in the story! When study participants read a sentence about a boy kicking a soccer ball, their motor cortex lit up. We take emotions from stories as well, and can share them! That’s why when you watch a movie where a character dies, you feel sad. The director told the story in such a way that you identified with it, even though it’s not about you.
When someone tells you a story, they are inviting you into their mind. You get to see their perspective, their feelings, and their thoughts. You can see yourself in their shoes, even just for a bit.
Aren’t stories just amazing?