16 Simulated Worlds: Transportation Into Narratives

Authored by: Melanie C. Green , John K. Donahue

Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  September  2012

Print ISBN: 9781841698878
eBook ISBN: 9780203809846
Adobe ISBN: 9781136678103


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Telling stories is a universal human activity. Effective storytellers can bring about comfort, joy, and excitement. Understanding and learning from stories seems to be a fundamental cognitive process. Indeed, Schank and Abelson (1995) claimed that all knowledge is stories. While this strong claim may be somewhat overstated, the power of the narrative form has been demonstrated in the judgment and decision-making literature with Pennington and Hastie's story model of jury decision making (1988), as well as in the consumer psychology literature (e.g., Adaval & Wyer, 1998; Deighton, Romer, & McQueen, 1989). There is even support from developmental studies for a weaker version of the claim that narratives are a basic mental structure; people in most cultures have an internalized narrative grammar, or understanding of story structure, by age 3 (Mancuso, 1986).

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