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future of news

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News & Analysis

Why We Need To Tell Stories

So you’ve amassed terabytes of data, reams of documents and hours of expert testimony, all backing up your conclusions. What’s the best way to convince people you’re right?

Tell them a story.

Ideally, a compelling, colorful tale weaving in memorable anecdotes and striking details. Printed in a clear, legible font. Oh, and it helps – no kidding – if it rhymes.

At least according to Nobel-prizewinning economist Daniel Kahneman, author of the outstanding Thinking, Fast and Slow, who’s made a career out of understanding – experimentally – how our brains take in information and make decisions. It isn’t always pretty, but it does help explain why storytelling is a centuries-old means of passing on information.