The Right Stories and the Right Films


In fact, our experiential apparatus is likely to automatically translate stories, whether real or invented, into stories, so give them a plot. “People falsely believe that their attitudes, beliefs, and actions are more influenced by facts than by fictions,” writes American social psychologist Melanie Greenwald, who has spent many years researching the astounding emotional power of narrative material. “But actually we are drawn into narratives, in fact as well as in fictitious alike.” Data, numbers, statistics leave us cold. Only when they are embedded in a story, they get an emotional meaning. For the free movie streaming this is important.

Draw personalized stories

Politicians know that, journalists as well. Mary Beth Oliver of Pennsylvania State University has recently confirmed in a recent study that personalizing your story is what awakens readers’ empathy and keeps them on the hook. The researchers found that articles on old people, migrants or prisoners not only got better with test readers, but also had more impact as soon as the testimonies were tied to a personal fate. The participants who had read such a story, then showed more helpfulness towards the clientele than those who had been presented a pure fact report.

What does a story have to bring who succeeds?

In a tremendous amount of hard work, ESCP Europe Business School researchers in London and the University of Maastricht have bundled the data sets of 76 narratives on narrative effectiveness. The team led by Tom van Laer came to the conclusion that three criteria determine how strongly a story draws its readers or viewers into the spell, it should come up with concise characters, in whose motives and soul life one empathizes and with whom one can identify. Their plot, the sequence of events, was intended to stimulate the imagination. The key element to this is well-crafted scenes that come to mind. Third, it depends on the plausibility. Even the most fantastic story should come true, true to life, believable, not necessarily believable in the scientific sense, but subjectively convincing.

But Van Laer and his colleagues also realized that it is not just the story, how much she captivates someone it also depends on this somebody who gets tied up. It works better if that person is already familiar with the topic and genre of the narrative and does not need to break new ground. Also, immersing yourself in a story is easier for people who are already focused on the thing, educated and feminine anyway. True, women are generally better able to empathize with others, even if these characters are fictional characters.

Second-hand emotions

There remains the question of what people have to identify with invented figures. The fact is, who empathizes with a character, feels with what she feels. They are almost second-hand emotions. Not without reason one speaks of the feeling cinema. Movies and stories, allowed us to experience strong emotions in safe places, says media researcher John Sherry of Michigan State University. Mostly we experience this state as pleasant, even when it is sad feelings that overwhelm us.

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