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The Magical Science of Storytelling

All the stories David Phillips told in the video evoked different kinds of emotions: from joy and interest to sadness and sympathy. The reason is that while listening to stories, the brain is filled with neurotransmitters and hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and others, the so-called “angel’s cocktail” (TEDx Talks, 2017). They affect the cerebral cortex and make listeners more emotional and focused. Whenever people hear a story, they try to relate it to their existing experience. While we are trying to remember a similar situation that we had, the part of the brain is activated that connects what we hear with the same feelings of pain, joy, or sympathy.

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Evoking emotions is one of the most significant skills in the science of storytelling. Where emotions dominate, facts and rationality are not always the basis for decision-making (Bietti et al., 2019). David Phillips says that the more emotionally people feel about something in life, the less critical and less objective their perception is (TEDx Talks, 2017). There are many special lexical, syntactic, morphological, and intonation techniques to make the story emotional. However, the most important thing is just not to exclude feelings and impressions in pursuit of the clarity and reasoning of the text.

This TEDx Talks video has changed the way I viewed storytelling. Now, when I write my narrative essay, I will focus not only on the meaning and morality but also on evoking emotions. It is important to understand for whom the story is being prepared, how it will be perceived, what people already know, and what stereotypes they have formed. I also need to choose the way of telling so that I will be heard and people will be interested. I have realized that emotionality can be seen as an integral part of storytelling. A good story must evoke feelings, and emotional content often gets more engagement.

References

Bietti, L. M., Tilston, O., & Bangerter, A. (2019). Storytelling as adaptive collective sensemaking. Topics in Cognitive Science, 11(4), 710-732.

TEDx Talks. (2017). The magical science of storytelling | David JP Phillips | TEDxStockholm [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Magical Science of Storytelling." January 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-magical-science-of-storytelling/.

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