Noah Zandan

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Video: Pal Zak on the Future of Storytelling

Can you change behavior by changing emotions with storytelling?

Below is a video on the Future of Storytelling from Neuroeconomics pioneer Paul Zak, director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies and author of The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity.

In this short film on empathy, neurochemistry, and the dramatic arc, Zak takes us inside his lab, where he studies how people respond to stories.

What he finds is that even the simplest narrative can elicit powerful empathic response, triggering the release of neurochemicals like cortisol and oxytocin, provided it is highly engaging and follows the classic dramatic arc (Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Denouement).

Moreover, these empathic responses impacted behavior in Zak's studies, which he tested by allowing viewers to make donations to charities and strangers after viewing their stories. For more detail, watch the video below:

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