How a Good Story Changes Your Brain Chemistry

Riley Whisler
How a Good Story Changes Your Brain Chemistry

I just read a study that investigated what happens to the brain when presented with a compelling narrative.

One test group was shown a video that followed the narrative arc: exposition, incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion.

The other group was shown the same characters, but an overview of the story, summarizing major points.

The first group showed a significant increase in cortisol production in the beginning of the video -- a chemical linked with tension, stress, and most importantly, attention.

As the story continued, their brains also produced oxytocin -- a chemical linked with empathy, bonding, and connection.

As you could imagine, it was near impossible to get the second group to care about the characters they saw or the message trying to be conveyed. That particular study measured participants likelihood to donate money to a cause, and the results overwhelmingly showed group number 1's willingness to give. No surprise. Stories are how we connect and understand things at a human level. And, while brands aren't human beings, they consist of people trying to connect with people.

At Press Record Media, we believe telling stories through video is one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. We've had the privilege of telling stories like Bill Hattan's, The Lodge, and the HubRTP topping out ceremony in Morrisville and have seen the high levels of engagement these videos bring in.

If you're interested in telling your brand's stories through video, we'd love to chat.

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Let’s talk.

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