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  1. Natalie Neal
  2. Advanced Senior English
  3. September 17, 2019
  4. In “The Secrets of Storytelling: Why We Love a Good Yarn” by Jeremy Hsu, the author explores the psychological reasoning behind the love for storytelling. Stories are prevalent in languages, cultures, and throughout time, so why do we enjoy stories? Hsu presents the idea that stories create a safe world. In this we can basically train for society, we can practice our interpersonal skills, learn societal rules, and cultural norms, all without the pressure of the real world. Also, storytelling has been seen in all cultures and throughout all of known history, making it a truly universal human trait. Research has found that our brains have a natural dectetor for psychological realism, meaning stories not only present a believable picture but also captivate their audience and allow us to feel the character’s emotions. Being in this state of concentration is called “narrative transport”. Despite this, there is a lot of variation in the types of things that emotionally connect to different individuals. We make stories out of everything due to our empathy. Empathy allows us to put ourselves in different situations and it is crucial to societal success. Additionally, stories are an important tool for learning. They are vital to the interpersonal relationships in social groups and society in general. All of the research conducted shows evidence of an evolved human psyche, because of the general themes that we see in stories throughout history. Further research needs to be conducted to have concrete evidence but as of now we know there are many different connections between our psyche and stories.
  5. The piece opens up with a reference to a popular movie and then connected it to a classic story. The author does this to give the reader examples of the powers and influences of stories. This is a really effective method to introduce the concept. The evidence presented follows the flow of ideas and strengthen each new concept as well as strengthen the whole idea of the piece. The ideas are presented in a way that is logical and helps build on each other. The author has a masters in journalism from New York University in their Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. This makes him extremely qualified to report on this. His degree means that he understands scientific statistics and studies and is able to correctly and accurately report on them. The history of this is very well explained through the insight into the previous cultures and the universality of this concept.  This essay is very effective in conveying the ideas of the importance of stories throughout history and cultures. This is because they use a multitude of different studies to interest the reader and it breaks down complex ideas using analogies that are very understandable. This article doesn’t include many biases. Due to the fact that it is more of a scientific piece, there isn’t much room for author bias. There could be a bias in the choice of information presented, but just by reading this article we wouldn’t be able to show that.
  6. I highly enjoyed this article. The science and psychology aspect of this article was incredibly intriguing to me. The author introduced the connection of our brains, evolution, and our love stories. This was a concept that had never occured to me and it was really interesting to see how they tied all of the aspects in together. This made me rethink people who read for a hobby. This article shows that readers are actually very social people because they have the practice of being in society through the books that they are reading. This was a perspective that opened my eyes to many different things. All in all, I found this article to be incredibly interesting and very informative. While also being fun to read and not completely about statistics.
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