Why We Love, Need Fiction

Why We Love, Need Fiction
[Via Daily Ideafeed | Big Think]

“As psychologist and novelist Keith Oatley remarks, fiction works as a social simulator, allowing us to stretch our scope beyond the actual to the possible or the impossible. We need not be confined to the given, but can turn actuality around within the much larger space of possibility to explain how things are or to see how they could have been or might be. By building on our sociality, pretend play and fiction extend our imaginations, taking us from the here and now along tracks we can easily follow even offline because they are the fresh tracks of agents.”

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We use stories to teach ourselves much about the expectations society holds for us and our behavior. Some stretch our beliefs and others reinforce them. But all can be very important.