The Psychology of Storytelling: Why Stories Are Ideal for Learning

Who doesn’t love a good story? For thousands of years, stories have been one of our most beloved forms of communication. They are everywhere; in the news, on reality TV, in our everyday lives as we interact with friends...the list goes on. Why are we so story-crazed? Can we leverage this fact in a meaningful way for elearning?

Stories are just uniquely packaged bits of information to help us find meaning in the world. Bottom line, our brains like stories because they simulate real life and activate neural structures such as language areas, sensory areas, memory, etc. Stories usually have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and they include characters, plot, setting, emotional content, and a continuous prompting of questions. All of these features are reminiscent of events and problems that arise in our everyday lives, so stories are a near-ideal formula for introducing new concepts and remembering information.

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