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Posted by Tom van Laer at 4:40 - 0 Comments

Estimates show that millions of people have been victims of cyberbullying. Sadly, this includes the famous cases where emotional distress caused Tyler Clementi, Izzy Dix, Lisa Marie Zahra, and dozens of other victims to take their own lives. These bullies are present on almost all Internet forums, but some websites are particularly notorious. For instance, a recent Time magazine article described Ask.fm as a website that was a factor in at least 16 deaths.

Posted by Tom van Laer at 3:50 - 0 Comments

The fourth season of Game of Thrones has gripped scores of people with its epic storyof warring factions in a strange and changing landscape, dragons and dire wolves, incursions and sieges, plots and betrayals, battlefield brilliance and cunning with coin. So unsurprisingly, that won't be the last you'll see of it. There are to be more series, and possibly even films.

Posted by Tom van Laer at 12:25 - 0 Comments

I recently saw the documentary Manakamana by Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, in which pilgrims make an ancient journey in a state-of-the-art cable car. Their rides unfold in real-time, highlighting interactions with one another, the landscape, and this strange new mode of conveyance. Through these encounters, the film opens a surprising window onto contemporary Nepali lives, propelled along by the country's idiosyncratic modernization. There is double sensory consumption: Both the pilgrims and the viewer experience narrative transportation, though of a different kind.

Posted by Tom van Laer at 15:15 - 0 Comments

A particular type of consumer enjoys stories with plots, characters, and imagery that allow them to get lost in the narrative, according to our new study in theJournal of Consumer Research.

Stories have the power to change people's behaviour. Contemporary examples include the persuasive power of Latin American telenovelas, which influence family planning choices and enrolment in adult literacy programs, as well as Internet users sharing written stories, photos, and videos about themselves and their market experiences.

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