How and why narrative affects us. A component in, for example, gamification and in empathy.

Michele Weldon, Your Brain on Story.

Paul Zak, How Stories Change the Brain.

Carol Clark, A novel look at how stories may change the brain.

Malka Older’s concept of Narrative disorder.

To read: papers on whether narrative can improve empathy (Johnson, Huffman, and Jasper 2014; Bormann and Greitemeyer 2015; Oatley 2016; Kidd and Castano 2013).


Berns, Gregory S., Kristina Blaine, Michael J. Prietula, and Brandon E. Pye. 2013. “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain.” Brain Connectivity 3 (6): 590–600.
Bormann, Daniel, and Tobias Greitemeyer. 2015. “Immersed in Virtual Worlds and Minds: Effects of In-Game Storytelling on Immersion, Need Satisfaction, and Affective Theory of Mind.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 6 (6): 646–52.
Johnson, Dan R., Brandie L. Huffman, and Danny M. Jasper. 2014. “Changing Race Boundary Perception by Reading Narrative Fiction.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology 36 (1): 83–90.
Kidd, David Comer, and Emanuele Castano. 2013. “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind.” Science 342 (6156): 377–80.
Oatley, Keith. 2016. “Fiction: Simulation of Social Worlds.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (8): 618–28.
Reagan, Andrew J., Lewis Mitchell, Dilan Kiley, Christopher M. Danforth, and Peter Sheridan Dodds. 2016. “The Emotional Arcs of Stories Are Dominated by Six Basic Shapes.” EPJ Data Science 5 (1, 1): 1–12.

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