evolutionary psychology

Why people die in novels: Testing the ordeal simulation hypothesis

What is fiction about, and what is it good for? An influential family of theories sees fiction as rooted in adaptive simulation mechanisms. In this view, our propensity to create and enjoy narrative fictions was selected and maintained due to the …

Folk-economic beliefs as “evidential fiction”: Putting the economic public discourse back on track

Folk-economic beliefs may be regarded as “evidential fictions” that exploit the natural tendency of human cognition to organize itself in narrative form. Narrative counter-arguments are likely more effective than logical debunking. The challenge is …

Birth of the cool: a two-centuries decline in emotional expression in Anglophone fiction

The presence of emotional words and content in stories has been shown to enhance a story’s memorability, and its cultural success. Yet, recent cultural trends run in the opposite direction. Using the Google Books corpus, coupled with two …

Antropologia cognitiva e modularità della mente: il caso della folkbiology