Stories Are Scientifically Measurable

January 08, 2021

The Power of Stories may be a mental model, but is there any empirical evidence demonstrating its effectiveness? It turns out, yes!

Perhaps the most consistent and pervasive result in the life sciences is a measurement of the power of stories.

When you conduct a drug trial, a control group who receives an inert treatment will typically have a different response profile than a control group that receives no treatment whatsoever. The expectation and the story of treatment leads to what is known as the placebo effect.

In the placebo effect, the human mind uses narrative to shape both perception and physiological responses.

It is a power of human perception to adjust behaviors at a subconscious, normally uncontrollable level by believing in a narrative.

The stories we tell about ourselves are perhaps the most important factor in shaping our reality. These identity stories shape our habits, our conscious behaviors, and even our subconscious behaviors.

Coupled with a good world story, these identity stories make up most of the human experience.


© 2020 Connor Daly