ON WISDOM Podcast – Episode 007: Why We Tell Stories (with Nic Weststrate)
The On Wisdom podcast features a social-cognitive scientist in Toronto and an educator in London discussing the latest empirical science regarding the nature of wisdom. Igor Grossmann runs the Wisdom & Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Charles Cassidy runs the Evidence-Based Wisdom project in London, UK. The podcast thrives on a diet of freewheeling conversation on wisdom and decision-making, and includes regular guests spots with leading behavioural scientists from the field of wisdom research and beyond. Welcome to The On Wisdom Podcast.
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
Why do we spend so much time telling stories – about ourselves, about each other, even about fictional characters?
If storytelling isn’t simply about information exchange, what role does it really play in our lives?
Why do older people feel compelled to share their hard-earned wisdom with younger people?
And do the younger people actually get anything from these exchanges?
Developmental Psychologist Nic Weststrate joins Igor and Charles to pull apart the real reasons we share stories. We discuss exploratory and redemptive processing of life-shattering events, the complex motivations behind Holocaust survivors recounting of the Jewish refugees on the St. Louis ship at the U.S. shore, and the Stonewall riots as the mythical origin story of the Gay Liberation movement. Igor questions the role of the omnipresent Netflix storytelling machine. Nic suggests that greater tolerance around sexuality can rob people of their once revolutionary identities. Charles learns that, when our lives are broken, we may have to choose between the path to wisdom and the path to happiness. Welcome to Episode 7.
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