Human beings are the only animals that tell stories. We find human stories in every geographical location, in every historical period, and in every culture. Stories, then, seem to transcend international, historical, and cultural boundaries.

As stories are so ubiquitous this might lead us to think that they have a function. So why do we tell stories? There are various reasons: to give instruction, to provide hope, to control behavior, to transmit ideas in a memorable form, to enhance social cohesion, and to give human beings a better way of understanding themselves and others in terms of their needs, desires, motivations, and actions. All of these reasons and more can be used to explain our need to tell ...

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