Monday, December 6, 2010

Emotional Connection

Affective development, affect-sensitive learning environments, affective experiences. These are huge research areas, but specifically for now, I'm interested in emotional engagement because knowledge (and/or cognitive potential) alone is inadequate at producing change in behaviors or attitudes. In conceptualizing my dissertation, now and before, emotional engagement has always been one of the areas I am interested in exploring.

I stumbled upon Chris Koch's posting on building emotional engagement for B2B marketing. It added a layer to my thinking about my dissertation. My earlier posts had indicated that I'm conceptualizing the use of an instructional intervention to facilitate engagement among major stakeholders on a complex issue. To effect change, I need to craft a solution beyond a knowledge intervention. Merrill has often been quoted as saying, "Information is not instruction." Casting more information to a highly educated audience -- would that be effective? How do I engage them emotionally? That determines the type of instructional intervention we will settle on eventually. Koch's response to Sean Tierney's comment on "[c]onnecting through things that people value in their lives" hits the nail on the head (e.g. music, friends, family, aspirations, opportunity, memories).

Storytelling has always been powerful, and continues to be. People are interested in compelling stories. If these stories are connected to them in some way, I'm thinking they will have an effect on their lives. We want to connect people with other people; to help them relate to each other in major ways through narratives enacted in performance, and healthcare is a major concern of everyone's life. If each side can learn a bit better about each other through their stories, how wonderful it would be?

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