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The Science of Storytelling & Memory and Their Impact on You

Stashed in: Influence!, The Universe, Stories, Selling!

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This article is a bit long, but it has some great nuggets within it, especially at the beginning and the end.

Agreed, and I love this quote:

“The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” ―Muriel Rukeyser

This is fascinating:

As a literary & anthropological experiment, Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn wanted to see if they could resell cheap knickknacks (avg. cost $1.25) on eBay and turn a significant profit by adding personal stories to the item descriptions.

The hypothesis was that emotionally charged stories would increase the perceived value of each object and therefore net a large profit on each item sold.

To conduct the experiment they purchased around $129 worth of thrift-store items – like a ceramic horse bust or a cow shaped coffee creamer container – and had over 200 writers contribute rich, creative stories to attach sentimental value to what were otherwise mundane items.


In the case of the horse bust, the item was purchased for .99 cents. The author added a (quite amusing) story about her father – the dopey drunk, hazing of exchange students in France during the 70’s and his disturbing experience with a horse.

The horse bust resold for $62.95 – A 6258.58% increase!

Each item sold at a similar profit margin & overall the project brought in nearly $8,000 combined. Absolutely incredible!!

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