Posts Tagged ‘Psychology Today:’

SPRÅK | Så nu är det alltså officiellt. Barack Obama är en president med stort självförtroende.


Enligt psykologen James Pennebaker vid University of Texas är personer med självförtroende mindre egotrippade i sitt sätt att uttrycka sig. De använder ”vi” mer än ”jag” när de talar.

”Once you appreciate that ‘I’ tracks attention, you see it’s a powerful marker of a speaker’s psychological state.”

Andrea Bartz har sammanfattat några av Pennebakers slutsatser i Psychology Today. En av dessa berör Obama.

Early in his presidency, Obama had the lowest ”I”-word usage of the last 12 presidents, a sign of self-assurance. Less confident people use hedging phrases (”I think…”).

Är detta också ett sätt att, indirekt, kontrollera om politiker själva tror på vad de säger? Man skulle kunna anta att politiker med stort självtroende därmed också har stort förtroende för den politik de föreslår. Med andra ord; inget bullshit, de säger som det är.

Tyvärr. Så enkelt är det inte. Även lögnare undviker ordet ”jag”.

Pinocchios use oddly stiff, impersonal language while spinning their tales. ”When you’re lying, you almost distance yourself from the words,” Pennebaker says. ”You’re not owning your statements.”

Typiskt. Det skulle naturligtvis vara för enkelt om det räckte med att räkna pronomen i politikers tal för att få indikation på ärliga avsikter. En och annan grävande journalist lär behövas även i framtiden.

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VERKTYG | Att väcka intresse med en bra historia är inte bara av värde om man jobbar inom filmindustrin.

Så kallad storytelling används flitigt i PR-branschen och är av lika stort värde för politiker och partier. Tänk bara på den framgångsrika berättelsen om ”nya” Moderaterna.

Och mindre framgångsrikt: Vilken berättelse är det egentligen Håkan Juholt och Socialdemokraterna idag försöker få väljarna att lyssna till?

Peter Guber lever på att förvandla berättelser till film i Hollywood. I Psychology Today skriver han:

I’ve come to see that they are far more than entertainment. They are the most effective form of human communication, more powerful than any other way of packaging information. And telling purposeful stories is certainly the most efficient means of persuasion in everyday life, the most effective way of translating ideas into action […]

They provide emotional transportation, moving people to take action on your cause because they can very quickly come to psychologically identify with the characters in a narrative or share an experience—courtesy of the images evoked in the telling.

Equally important, they turn the audience/listeners into viral advocates of the proposition, whether in life or in business, by paying the story—not just the information—forward.

Stories, unlike straight-up information, can change our lives because they directly involve us, bringing us into the inner world of the protagonist. […] They provoke our memory and give us the framework for much of our understanding. They also reflect the way the brain works. While we think of stories as fluff, accessories to information, something extraneous to real work, they turn out to be the cornerstone of consciousness.


The first rule of telling stories is to give the audience—whether it’s one business person or a theater full of moviegoers—an emotional experience. The heart is always the first target in telling purposeful stories. Stories must give listeners an emotional experience if they are to ignite a call to action.

By far, the most effective and efficient way to do that is through the use of metaphor and analogy. More than mere linguistic artifacts, these devices are key components of the way we think, building blocks of the very structure of knowledge. In their swift economy, they evoke images and turn on memory, with all its rich sensory and emotional associations, bringing the listener into the story, cognitively and emotionally, as an active participant—you might say, as coproducer.


The brain may be prewired for stories, but you still have to turn it on. Most compelling stories have a sympathetic hero. And they are shaped by three critical elements—a challenge, struggle, and some resolution. […] As psychologist Jerome Bruner famously said, ”Stories are about the vicissitudes of human intention. Trouble is what drives the drama.”


Because they are so important, it’s wise to prepare your stories in advance. But before you launch into your script, take some time to learn about your audience. What you discover will determine how you tell your story. You want to make sure your audience is with you. You can’t get anywhere without them.

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