Everyone loves a good story. The series of TED videos demonstrates that a good story is at the crux of making some sort of point.
Countless fiction authors have made good on this idea for centuries. Taking a page from their playbook, social scientists started doing the same thing in pop-psychology books that quickly turned into best-sellers.
Which begets the question. If a story is such a fertile medium to share science in, shouldn’t the books mention they are contributing to the same irrationality they are trying to warn you against?
Samuel McNermey wrote the best critique of this issue for Scientific American back in 2012:
This is one of the reasons we humans love narratives; they summarize the important information in a form that’s familiar and easy to digest. It’s much easier to understand events in the world as instances of good versus evil, or any one of the seven story types. As Daniel Kahneman explains, “[we] build the best possible story form the information available… and if it is a good story, [we] believe it.” The implication here is that it’s how good the story is, not necessarily its accuracy, that’s important.
But narratives are also irrational because they sacrifice the whole story for one side of a story that conforms to one’s worldview. Relying on them often leads to inaccuracies and stereotypes. This is what the participants in Brenner’s study highlight; people who take in narratives are often blinded to the whole story – rarely do we ask: “What more would I need to know before I can have a more informed and complete opinion?”
And that’s the core of pop-psychology books — even the New York Times bestsellers. They are weaving a wonderful story to share with you all of the science and data that can make their point.
But the story itself is meant to appeal to your emotional, irrational side. And as social scientists, all of the authors are aware that their story will work its magic on you (even if the data don’t fully support their conclusions). Research “shows us that people are not only willing to jump to conclusions after hearing only one side’s story, but that even when they have additional information at their disposal that would suggest a different conclusion, they are still surprisingly likely to do so.”5 tips for millennials who want to buy a house? How to start an llc? Which term has a meaning similar to conservation? What does good vibes mean? What is woke? What is the symbolic meaning of a rose? What is the meaning of the kingdom of god? How much does it cost to install solar panels? Tips when quitting marijuana? How to pair airpods? What is an eeg? What day does boba fett come out? What is a psychopath? How to do tricks with a vape pen? Tips are taxable income when used by credit card? What does cm mean in texting? How to know baby gender calculator? What does formal attire mean for a wedding? how long can you keep box helper on the shelf sourcetree which credential helper What is the meaning of dropshipping? What are the promises of god? What does wtd mean in texting? How to report tips w2 tax allocated tips? Minecraft tips on how to break into an undeground base? How many tricks does it take to level up a doodle? What is the meaning of swoon? What does the p emoji mean? What is the meaning of new year in the bible? how to make hamburger helper lasagna sanon How to stop baby hiccups after feeding? What gift cards does cvs sell? How to make resin art? How to get rid of subcutaneous fat? What are airborne precautions? How to change discord name? What is the meaning of regarded? How to buy stocks for beginners? How to pronounce caramel? What does omicron mean in greek? How to turn off vibration on iphone? how to access privileged helper tools on mac How to get rid of bronchitis? How to make great tips as a server? What age does bath and body works hire? What does minimalist mean? what is registy helper Tips on how to stay warm in the winter? What does c9 mean in overwatch? What is the meaning of collin? What does the russian invasion mean? What is the meaning of introvert? How to make a banner in minecraft? How to do tricks with a jarv yoyo for beginners? how does a helper plasmid work What is the r slur? How to wire money? How to become a notary in illinois? What red moon meaning? What does blood type rh factor meaning on license? What movie is this? What gts mean? How do magic tricks work? What does upcycling mean? What are the symptoms of infection in a woman? How to make lightsaber in little alchemy? What does elated mean? What is biometrics mean? how to extend hamburger helper How to get a hickey off? What does sup mean? How to get rid of piercing bump? Meaning of collate when printing? Whose meaning? What is the meaning of lmao and lmfao? What does debug mean? How to pierce your own ear? What does avoid mean? What bank is cash app on plaid? What does composite numbers mean? What does smart mean? What does flea dirt look like? Tips on how to get preschoolers to listen? What does guinness taste like? How to give robux to people? What does sp02 mean? How to screenshot on mac air? What does dormant mean? How to make ham glaze? how many spotify helper processes should be open mac Jedi mind tricks of what you hear? W2 how are wages, tips, other compensation calculated? What is chicago known for? What to buy a kid who likes magic tricks? Pro tips on how to play lol? How many skill tricks per turn? Need to see french tips when you gagging? What day is it in korea? What tricks can the fidget spinner do? How to get wax out of ears withoutw tips? What does exercising options mean? What does a.m.s mean?