Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cracking the Code, Chapters 2 - 4

Continuing from this post.

Chapter Two

There are five stages to classic story structure. 1) A character has his/her world thrown out of balance. 2) Things get complicated and one tries to restore balance. 3) A crisis is faced wherein one must make a life-changing choice. 4) The climax is reached where the choice reaps consequences and the moral is revealed. 5) Loose ends are tied up. He then gave a few story examples that had these elements and claimed this structure has been hard-wired into us.

Chapter Three

Establishing rapport requires that we ascertain which sensory modality is primary for out interlocutor. We frame our worlds through our senses. For most in America the visual is their primary modality. For others auditory or kinesthetic, especially in different cultures. This can be determined by listening intently to how one uses language. However when using political speech one needs to be multi-model to reach the differing preferences of a larger audience.

Chapter Four

Humans have three brains: reptilian, limbic and neo-cortex. The first is about survival and fight or flight. The second is about emotion. The third about abstract thought. So effective communication recognizes our lower brains and that feeling comes before thinking. Hence above where one uses the language of the senses to elicit response from our survival drives. Framing things in emotional terms goes directly to the limbic system. Hence a key strategy to activate these systems is to use kinesthetic terms and moral-laden metaphor.

An interesting point was a study that found that the “affective system retained its autonomy” in development (58). I.e., the three brains, while interconnected, still retain to some degree their own autonomy and speak their own languages. Remember that Luhmann discussed how within humans the various systems still retain their autonomy and communicate with each other through structural coupling.

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