From: Fast Company - Jonathan Gottschall (highly edited)
Fiction seems to be more effective at changing beliefs than writing that is specifically designed to persuade through argument and evidence.
Psychologists Melanie Green and Tim Brock argue that entering fictional worlds “radically alters the way information is processed.”
Their studies show that the more absorbed readers are in a story, the more the story changes them.
Highly absorbed readers also detected significantly fewer “false notes” in stories--inaccuracies, missteps--than less transported readers.
It is not just that highly absorbed readers detected the false notes and didn’t care about them (as when we watch a pleasurably idiotic action film). They were unable to detect the false notes in the first place.
When we read dry, factual arguments, we are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story we drop our guard. We are moved emotionally and this seems to leave us defenseless.
Inotherwords, a story is a Trojan Horse. What you can't get in battle can be had by guile and a story is a trick for sneaking a message into the mind.