Become a
Friend of Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month
Aeon kickstarter logo

Sigmund Freud was the established genius; Carl Jung the youthful upstart. They began as friends, and ended as bitter enemies.

Help us create an animation about one of the great intellectual feuds of the 20th century.

Visit our Kickstarter campaign

Empathy, neurochemistry, and the dramatic arc

6 minutes

How the dramatic arc can change our brain chemistry and spur us to action

Paul Zak, professor of economics, psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University in California, is one the founding pioneers of neuroeconomics, an emerging scientific field that traces the biology of decision-making processes and the human brain’s reaction to incentives. In this animated exploration of one of his most illuminating experiments, Zak discusses the surprisingly calculable effects that the classic dramatic arc (exposition/rising action/climax/falling action/denouement) has on our brain chemistry and, ultimately, on our decisions and actions.

Director: Kirby Ferguson

Website: Future of Storytelling

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/
Personality
Why we love tyrants

Psychoanalysis explains how authoritarians energise the hatred, self-pity and delusion while promising heaven on Earth

David Livingstone Smith

Essay/
Neurodiversity
The autism paradox

How an autism diagnosis became both a clinical label and an identity; a stigma to be challenged and a status to be embraced

Bonnie Evans