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Feeling At Home: Law, Cognitive Science, And Narrative, Lea B. Vaughn Jan 2011

Feeling At Home: Law, Cognitive Science, And Narrative, Lea B. Vaughn

Lea B Vaughn

What is the “how and why” of law’s affinity for narrative? In order to explain why the use of stories is such an effective teaching and presentation strategy in the law, this paper will consider theories and accounts from cognitive as well as evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and, briefly, cultural anthropology. This account seeks to address “how” narrative helps us learn and use the law as well as “why” we are so compelled to use stories in teaching and in practice.

Brain science, simplified here, suggests that the first task is to “grab” someone’s attention. Emotionally charged events are ...