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Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame

Bias Towards The Individual

Stories built around individuals provide relatability and a sense of being in the shoes of the people involved, living in the narrative.

Our tendency to give a ‘face’ and a story to a group or collection of people made us invent a dominant leader of the group, like the President, or the Team Captain, or the Monarch.

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Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame

Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame

http://nautil.us/issue/5/fame/homo-narrativus-and-the-trouble-with-fame

nautil.us

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Key Ideas

Homo Narrativus

We, humans, seek stories.

We are essentially ‘story finders’ looking for meaning, narrative and shape in everything around us. We tend to not believe in improbable stories and tend to create story threads out of thin air, making them real and believable.

Bias Towards The Individual

Stories built around individuals provide relatability and a sense of being in the shoes of the people involved, living in the narrative.

Our tendency to give a ‘face’ and a story to a group or collection of people made us invent a dominant leader of the group, like the President, or the Team Captain, or the Monarch.

How Fame Alters Our Perceptions

  • The popularity or fame of an individual or a piece of art (like a painting, song or a movie) alters how we perceive it.
  • The characteristics and behaviour of the people among whom fame spreads matters more than the actual merit or quality.
  • A study showed that more people liked the songs that were topping the charts, copying the behaviour of other listeners, and if the same songs were arranged randomly, they were not chosen or liked that much.

Survivorship Bias

It is the tendency to focus on successful narratives of influential leaders, who offer promising insights backed with credibility.

These people become ‘Opinion Leaders’ due to the fact that society focuses on individuals and loves to hear a narrative, and these people offer both.

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