Thursday, November 11, 2010

Through The Observing Glass

"When you read Alice in Wonderland, you will find yourself trying to make sense of an illogical story. Alice, the key character, also experiences similar frustrations. But in the end, she emerges wiser with the learning involved in each situation. Everyone faces absurd choices in life. If you shrug off these choices as anomalies to your perfect life, you gain nothing. But if you try to learn from these absurdities, you will gain a lot of wisdom." Simran Khurana

Been doing a lot of thinking, researching and back-and-forth chit-chat recently about the effectiveness of stories: the age old method of learning, predating even Aristotle's discovery of logic. Wisdom, legend and truths mired in fables have been passed down from generation to generation even before the written word.

Today, modern cognitive scientists and behaviorists are finding a new effectiveness in a very old communication technique.

Neuroscience has concluded that the human mind works much, much better when a subject is broached through a story. They are apt to identify with the main character, get wrapped up in the overall subject matter and ultimately come to their own conclusions.

As cognitive scientist Mark Turner puts it, "Story is a basic principle of mind. Most of our experience, our knowledge and our thinking is organized as stories."

Minimizing inhibitions to communication. An age old issue. Whether it be in a formal presentation, writing an ad or a casual conversation, we all might take a clue to this age-old technique of erasing the confrontational nature of discussion by simply engaging our recipient, telling a story and giving our correspondents the ability to come to their own conclusions.

The Duchess: You're thinking about something, my dear, and that makes you forget to talk. I can't tell you just now what the moral of that is, but I shall remember it in a bit.
Alice: Perhaps it hasn't one.
The Duchess: Tut, tut, child! Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it.

1 comment:

  1. What a coincidence! I just wrote a story about that very topic! The challenge is editing one's experiences.