On how concrete imagery is more memorable than abstractions

On how concrete imagery is more memorable than abstractions

Yale researcher Eric Havelock studies tales that have been passed down by word of mouth, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. He notes that these tales are charachterized by lots of concrete actions, with few abstractions. Why? The ancient Greeks certainty had no problem with abstraction — this was the society that produced Plate and Aristotle, after all. Havelock believes that the stories evolved away from abstraction over time. When they were passed along from generation to generation, the more memorable concrete details survived and the abstractions evaporated.

Excerpt from: Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

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