E9: Science and Power of Stories Affects Risk Perceptions

Angela Dartt, PhD, CIH Moderator
Washington University in St. Louis
Saint Louis, MO 
United States of America
Jonathan Klane, M.S.Ed., CIH, CSP Presenter
Lab Manager Magazine
Mesa, AZ 
United States of America
Tue, 5/24: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT
Education Session 
Music City Center 
Room: Meeting Room 104 A 


We all love stories! Yet we fail to use them to their fullest in our safety/risk communications. The science of narrative and stories brings light to how they work and are especially powerful in affecting risk perceptions. Stories and narratives are more powerful than data and info. We often wonder why people make decisions based on anecdotes. Yet, when we look at the literature on them and decisions, many strengths come to life when viewed through a scientific lens. In this session, we will relate and reveal much of the scientific research. This will help attendees better understand why their people pay more attention to narratives over data and info. Using narratives we'll learn: 1) how story and identification with a character enhances our connection to risks; 2)emotional content has a strong effect on us and our behaviors; 3) why stories are more memorable than straight info; 4) how to use stories more effectively to communicate risk; 5) what are the many of the elements needed for a great story; and 6) much, much more. Come, learn, and have fun!

Continue the conversation with Jonathan Klane immediately following this session outside 104A.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

• Explain how stories help us bond, relate, identify, contextualize information and make sense of our world.
• Describe the various elements that make stories such a powerful communication tool.
• Enhance their storytelling skills, knowledge, and attitudes. 

Content Level


Interactive Session Experience



Also part of the Virtual Program
Available as part of AIHce OnDemand
Communicating OEHS Concepts