Engineering Surprise: How Stories Conspire with Our Minds and What Happens in Second (or Seventeenth) Readings – Vera Tobin
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
6:30 pm on Zoom to socialize
The meeting proper begins at 7:00
Vera Tobin, the author of Elements of Surprise: Our Mental Limits and the Satisfactions of Plot, will present an exploration of the cognitive science of the difference between plot twists that surprise and delight, and ones that fall flat. She’ll discuss findings on the interaction between surprise and memory, the relationship between ease of processing and the experience of insight, and how social psychology helps explain why unsuccessful twists can feel not just disappointing, but like violations of the social contract — plus, we’ll talk about what mystery and surprise even mean when we’re reading (for example) Some Buried Caesar for the umpteenth time.