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Story Models

 

Explanations > Theories > Story Models

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

One way in which we explain the world around us is to create stories about it. In particular when we are face with complex situations, we will pick out what seems to be key elements and then turn these into a story.  

Research

Pennington and Hastie showed people a movie of a trial. They found that in order to make sense of the wealth of detail, the participants constructed stories about what happened. 

In another experiment, they found that when evidence was given in an order which made the story easy to construct, the participants were more likely to construct the same story. When the evidence was in story order, 78% of participants found the defendant guilty. Yet when the evidence was out of order, only 31% voted for the guilty verdict.

Example

A common technique for remembering a complex list of unrelated information is to weave them together into a story.

So what?

Using it

Help the other person understand your case by presenting it as a logical story, pausing to emphasize and repeat the key points you want them to remember and include in their remembered interpretation. 

Defending

Just because the other person presents a nice story, it does not mean it is true.

See also

 

References

Pennington and Hastie (1986, 1988, 1992)

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