Facts and stories (go together like a horse and carriage)

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 15, 2006
Filed in Business storytelling

Steven Pinker says:

“Cognitive psychology has shown that the mind best understands facts when they are woven into a conceptual fabric, such as a narrative, mental map, or intuitive theory. Disconnected facts in the mind are like unlinked pages on the Web: They might as well not exist.”

Thanks to Les Posen for point me to this one.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. ken says:

    Throw in a few characters, to relate to, and strong emotions as well – this post came to mind reading the news on the BBC about the Hawaii earthquake – magnitude six point ‘whatever’ – what grabbed my attention was the stories that people on the ground had taken the time to send in, conveying what it was like to be in that story, meaning of the facts. News adapts to become a two-way medium, not the old one-way broadcast, evoking empathy above what bleeds leads. Where were you when…

  2. Steve McKinlay says:

    Pinker isn’t the first one to consider this – Quine (1953, Two Dogmas of Empiricism) said “The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most causal matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges.”

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