In his book On The Origin Of Stories: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction (Harvard University Press), author Brian Boyd takes a broad, fascinating look at the anthropological underpinnings of storytelling.  Boyd gathers an impressive mass of scientific evicidence, drawing on evolutionary theory, ethology, linguistics, artificial intelligence, game theory, anthropology, economics, neurophysiology, analytic and experimental philosophy, epistemology and psychology, and shows–scientifically–why storytelling is so important.  He brilliantly walks the reader through the reasons why the apparently frivolous activity of storytelling is so fundamentally powerful, and goes even further to explain why storytelling is so central to innovation, the critical #1 performance dimension of 21st century organizations.  Boyd argues that “humans are hyper-intelligent and hyper-social animals.” By lining up key elements of intelligence, cooperation, pattern-seeking, alliance-making, and the understanding that other beings have beliefs and knowledge of their own, stories make us stronger and more effective as a species.  As Forbes writes in their review: “Attention is the reward that listeners bestow on the storyteller.  Boyd’s book is engrossing and deftly reasoned. It assembles the scientific evidence which explains why some stories speak to audiences across cultures and generations. The most successful storytellers apply themselves to the listeners’ dilemmas—not just to amuse, but to make them fitter to triumph in the contests of life.”  You can read the entire review of On The Origin Of Stories by visiting Forbes, and you can also pick up your own copy on Amazon.

Source: Forbes

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