Editorial, February 2022

Dr Jon Sutton introduces the issue.

I’ve not seen Game of Thrones (‘Peter Stringfellow’s Lord of the Rings’ – Stewart Lee). But Tyrion Lannister was spot on when he said ‘There is nothing more powerful in the world than a good story’. Storytelling may even be what defines us as a species. However we gather, people tell stories. We challenge, titillate, scandalise, amuse, change minds. We build worlds, guide our audience on winding roads, tangents and dead ends. We create heroes and villains. People think, feel, do differently because of what we have said

Except when we write about science.

Of course, there are brilliant exceptions. But on the whole, psychologists hold back from telling stories around their work, and may even equate storytelling with exaggeration and outright lying.  

As a magazine we’d love to see that change, so this issue has a storytelling theme throughout. Joining the dots, and adding some personal colour to the story, can bring concepts to life and drive real change

By the way, the cover of this issue states January 2022, when obviously it should say February. Really sorry about that!

Dr Jon Sutton

Managing Editor @psychmag

Here are the 'storytelling' themed pieces in this issue…

A good news story worth sharing
Emma Young digests the research on conversations

'You have to find a way of bringing psychological concepts to life'
Belinda Winder meets Phil Banyard

'Storytelling is your best weapon for convincing people'
We meet Will Storr

'All the research is pointless if we can't digest it'
Angharad Rudkin on writing for the public

'It's just a bunch of people telling your story, excluding you from the telling'
Caroline Clare on shared formulation with stories

'Thematic analysis has travelled to places that we've never heard of'
Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke discuss a method where scientists are more like storytellers

Our storytelling nature
Jonathan Gottschall looks back on the Heider-Simmel experiment

What stories make worlds, what worlds make stories
Stories Changing Lives, reviewed

'Storytelling is fundamental'
We meet Frank Tallis

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