Tag Archives: stories

The hidden danger of stories – and a friendly alternative

Audiences loved the 2019 Downton Abbey movie, but some reviewers found fault. The New York Times review noted there was “barely enough plot to go around.” The critic for RogerEbert.com frames it more positively: It’s a movie about seeing people … Continue reading

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When is a story not a story?

This question comes up a lot in my line of work – honestly, all too often. Let’s start with a definition. A story is a description of a particular event or series of events with a focus on one or … Continue reading

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The burden of George R.R. Martin – and what suspense and its resolution mean for us in the real world

I can still picture the display in our local university bookstore, sometime around 1999 – a major new fantasy series, with at least two books in print: A Game of Thrones, and A Clash of Kings. It looked medieval, and … Continue reading

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The Twelve Super-Stories

Let’s imagine you’ve been invited to speak to your entire country! You have to talk about current events (sorry, no sharing your hobbies or bragging about your kids), and the purpose of your talk is not just to educate, but … Continue reading

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Stories-About-Us: How They Work

In my last few blog posts, I’ve been focusing on our “stories about us” (“metanarratives”) – the topic of the book I’m writing. I hope the book will reach a broad audience, because it’s vital information we all need to … Continue reading

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Mother of Two Englands

British historian Lucy Worsley has a new TV series, and as I watched the first episode this week, I was delighted to find her talking about exactly the type of stories-of-us that I’m writing about in my book. Thanks to … Continue reading

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More Slogan Science: Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

In my last blog post, I took a close look at Trump’s campaign messaging, both for 2016 and 2020. Now it’s Joe Biden’s turn. What stories-about-us is he using to support his campaign and energize the voting public? Before we … Continue reading

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The Science of Slogans, with Donald J. Trump

In 2016, Donald Trump masterfully wielded campaign slogans from at least four different emotional “genres,” each telling or implying a different story about who we are and where we’re headed. Can he repeat this performance in 2020? Will a sizeable … Continue reading

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The Warren Paradox

Elizabeth Warren’s March 5 announcement that she was suspending her presidential campaign was certainly sensible, however disappointing it may have been to many in my own demographic, “highly educated middle-aged white women.” Throughout her campaign, she was usually labeled a … Continue reading

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“And just how do we go about changing the world, anyway?”: World Beliefs Survey, part three

Which types of beliefs about our world will motivate us to act? This question was at the heart of my dissertation research, and the answers are very important for those of us who care about the “big picture” and wonder … Continue reading

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