Rob Walker explores the impact storytelling has on the perception of worth.

Originally published in PSFK’s Need To Know Magazine Volume 1. 

Rob Walker, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, talks with PSFK about his Significant Objects project, a literary & anthropological experiment that demonstrates that the effect of narrative on any given object’s subjective value can, in fact, be measured objectively.

People value and are attracted to stories, and this often plays out in the world of objects. What we tried to do is take that observation in a different direction. Instead of a traditional story ‘about an object' (where it was made, why it’s so great, how it will make your life better), we wanted creative writers to invent stories inspired by objects, which can lead to all kinds of unpredictable results. And in this case, the results turned out to be strong enough that the stories stood on their own.

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