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DUBNER: Oh yeah, I know this butt! You hang out with Max, right?

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DUCKWORTH: I’m Angela Duckworth.

DUBNER: I’m Stephen Dubner.

DUCKWORTH + DUBNER: And you’re listening to No Stupid Questions.

Today on the show, Stephen and Angela focus on one big question: Why are stories more memorable than other types of information?

DUCKWORTH: Never saw a rom-com I didn’t like a little bit.

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Angela DUCKWORTH: Stephen, I wonder if you would agree with me about the following: I think stories are just about the stickiest form of information that there is, and much stickier in people’s minds than statistics. What do you think? 

Stephen J. DUBNER: I agree. And this was a great show. I enjoyed it. 

DUCKWORTH: Done. Drops mic. 

DUBNER: I do agree. So, I mean, you’re kind of preaching to the choir. You’re asking the choir if they like singing.

DUCKWORTH: Coals to Newcastle.

DUBNER: Although, okay, I will say there are some caveats. I think there are some people for whom data, statistics, theory, etc. do stick to their brains better than stories. 

DUCKWORTH: Like who? Literally, name one person. 

DUBNER: Steve Levitt

DUCKWORTH: Really? He will forget a story but remember a statistic?

DUBNER: Yes. I don’t mean to say it’s as extreme as forgetting a story. Like, if I tell him a story: I went to the Grand Canyon, and I tried to go bungee jumping, but they didn’t have bungee jumping. So they shot me out of a cannon, and I lived. He’ll remember that. 

DUCKWORTH: He’ll probably remember that. Okay. And I will now remember that forever. Thank you. 

DUBNER: By the way, that didn’t happen. But the way, that memory works. You’ll probably think that it actually did. 

DUCKWORTH: I’ll remember it anyway. Yes, and then I’ll soon believe it. 

DUBNER: But, if we’re talking about the conveyance of information, if that’s the purpose, then I do know people who are really good with, like I said, theory, and data, and statistics, and so on. And that may be because they are data people, and therefore they tend to dismiss stories as a form of evidence.

DUCKWORTH: They downgrade them.

DUBNER: Yeah, it’s an N of one. But I have spent a lot of my life thinking about why storytelling is successful or at least useful. 

DUCKWORTH: So, give me your theory.  

DUBNER: Well, I guess if you thought about it from the evolutionary biology side, you’d say, “Stories are sticky because we needed to pass along information in the era before there was written language.” And so, you’ve got these massively long and complicated religious stories and mythic stories. 

DUCKWORTH: There was the era of bards.

DUBNER: Troubadours and the Bible — the Old Testament, at least, I should specify — all of which existed pre-written language. It’s hard to imagine that they were passed along orally, but they were. So, here’s one answer to your question. Like, why does storytelling stick, or does storytelling stick at the expense of something else? Think about the Bible. It is the most read book in the history of the universe. 

DUCKWORTH: Is it really? I just was actually wondering, is that true? 

DUBNER: We’ll have to find out in fact-checking, but I think that’s true. 

DUCKWORTH: Among. And whenever you’re uncertain, you can say, “Among the most.” 

DUBNER: Among! Yeah. And I think many people would also agree that the Bible contains “among” the most influential set of rules in human history, which is the Ten Commandments. So, we like to think that we remember things like rules, and laws, and things like that. But if you ask people to name the Ten Commandments — 

DUCKWORTH: Even if you ask Catholics, I bet it would be pretty damning, as it were. 

DUBNER: Well, so I don’t know the response by denomination, but I do know that there was a survey that found that 14 percent of U.S. adults could recall all Ten Commandments, which I actually thought was pretty good, but only 71 percent could name even one commandment. 

DUCKWORTH: Okay. Thou shalt not kill. Was that one of them? And then coveting your neighbor’s wife. I remember that one.  

DUBNER: Best remembered were “thou shalt not kill” or murder, stealing — it’s the big prohibitions. We should say there are a few different versions. Even in the Old Testament, in the Jewish Bible, there are two, I believe, different versions which vary slightly. So, some people remember differently. But the point is, this is the most famous set of rules in the history of the universe in what is probably the most read book in the history of the universe, and yet most people can only name maybe one, or two, or three. But if you ask people who don’t come from a religious tradition at all, they know the stories. Like, the story of Moses is known. Adam and Eve. 

DUCKWORTH: Noah’s Ark.

DUBNER: Right. So then, you may be thinking, well, wait a minute, maybe it’s just that memories are bad. Maybe people don’t remember the Ten Commandments because their memories are not good. 

DUCKWORTH: They can’t remember anything.  

DUBNER: Right. But check this out. In the same survey that found that people were so bad at recalling the Ten Commandments, it turns out that 25 percent of the respondents could name the seven principal ingredients of a Big Mac — two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun. And 35 percent could name all six kids from The Brady Bunch. 

DUCKWORTH: So, human memory clearly has power. Now, the Ten Commandments, of course, are not statistics, right? I’m not saying that this question was only about stories versus statistics, but it does make the point, I guess, that stories are sticky.  

DUBNER: Yeah. So, the Ten Commandments are not statistics. But it calls to mind something like — let’s say you’re an institution, a government, a family, and you’re trying to tell people why they should do the right thing. I mean, look, there’s a ton of research from your field that shows that telling them to do the right thing often doesn’t work. But there’s also research that shows that telling them the rule, itself, is much less effective than telling them a story.

So, a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Defense years ago named Steve Epstein, his job was to brief supervisors and different government departments on the kinds of things that their employees should and should not be doing. And he found that if he would tell them the rules and regs, that people would read it, and their eyes would glaze over. So instead, he created this book of true stories that he called “The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure.” And it was nothing but a catalog of epic screw-ups perpetrated by federal workers. And his claim was that it was much more successful. You’ve mentioned something on the show before about the identifiable victim effect, yes?

DUCKWORTH: Yes. That’s the work of my colleague at Wharton, Deborah Small, and then also our common friend, George Loewenstein. And that effect is, in a nutshell, that if you have a victim of, say, a crime or a war, and you talk about that one victim’s story, and who they were, and what happened to them, that can be much more compelling and, for example, get people to give more money to a cause than a statistic about millions of people. 

DUBNER: Right. Further evidence: the neuroscientist Jack Gallant at Berkeley, he put people in an f.M.R.I. machine to measure their brain activity. And he had them listen to stories, in fact, it was podcasts. And he found that podcasts, the storytelling, stimulated much more brain activity than other types of information. 

DUCKWORTH: You were searching Google Scholar for podcast evidence.

DUBNER: Of course, I — no. I wasn’t, actually. 

DUCKWORTH: I was reading this study. I think it’s from 20 years ago or something, The Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health, about trying to get farmers to use tractors in the appropriate way. Like, seatbelt or whatever. And what they found in this randomized controlled trial — it was very small — was that stories actually did better than, like you said, just informing farmers of what they ought to do or providing statistics about ways that they could get injured or die. 

DUBNER: So, I think that we would agree that there’s a lot of evidence that storytelling is sticky, right?

DUCKWORTH: Well, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence, as it were. 

DUBNER: Well, I’m reading a paper from the Journal of Experimental Psychology

DUCKWORTH: That’s a good journal.

DUBNER: It shows that jurors rely heavily on stories to decide their verdicts. “Jurors confront masses of facts presented in a scrambled sequence, which is disorienting, with substantial gaps in the record, filtered through the obvious personal biases of witnesses. So, how do they deal with this complexity? It turns out they spontaneously construct a story to account for this welter of information, then match their personal story with the stories told by the prosecution and defense, and choose whichever side tells a story that best matches their own.” So, that actually, to me, is the best explanation of why stories work, which is that we are all narcissists to some degree. 

DUCKWORTH: We’re all creating a story. 

DUBNER: Yeah. And when we hear a story that has nothing to do with us — it could be the farmers in the study that you’re talking about looking into tractor safety; it could be people in an f.M.R.I. listening to podcasts; it could be people on a jury; it could be Moses, Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark — whenever we hear a story, I believe that we inherently insert ourselves in it to a certain degree.

And as the story is unspooling, it appeals to the narcissist in all of us because, as the cast of characters moves through time, and they make decisions, we invariably put ourselves in their shoes, and we think, “Oh, yeah, I would have done that, too,” or, “No, no, no, I never would’ve made that decision.” And that’s why stories engage us in a way that statistics and data don’t. 

DUCKWORTH: Okay, so one of my favorite neuroscientists is Diana Tamir at Princeton. One of her studies was on what happens when we read fiction. And I guess you want to call us narcissists for like, “What would I do? Would I do what they did?” She found that, when you read something like a novel, you are better able to empathize with and understand the feelings of other people. There is this kind of transporting yourself into the story. 

But there are other kinds of stories that are not about people, right? I mean, you could have a story about a dog chasing a fox or something. Do you think we are also narcissistically wondering whether as a dog we would have made the same choice? Because lots of children’s stories have no people in them. 

DUBNER: Yes. But I think that most children’s stories that have animals doing things are anthropomorphized for the very purpose that you’re saying they don’t serve, which is they are meant to represent people. I would also challenge you to think of great or memorable stories that don’t have people in them. It reminds me a little bit of photography. Like my wife, Ellen, who you know is a photographer, she did a lot of what she called “documentary photography,” many people would call it photojournalism, whatever. But she would immerse herself in a place or a situation. Sometimes it was a war. She went to the former Soviet Union right as Glasnost was happening. She went to Romania right after Ceaușescu fell. These very dramatic situations, and she shot this compelling stuff. And it was almost always of people. 

And the more I learned about photography through her, the more I realized that beginning photographers almost always don’t shoot people. They like to shoot the dramatic landscape. 

DUCKWORTH: The mountain range.

DUBNER: Like, if they’re assigned to do something on the decline of labor in the middle of America, they’ll shoot the warehouse where things used to happen. 

DUCKWORTH: The empty warehouse.

DUBNER: And the reason is it takes a lot of courage to insert yourself in the lives of people, and to invade their privacy, and then to get in their face and photograph them. But if you think about the photographs that really connect with you, I would argue it’s very similar to the stories that really connect with you. It’s usually people. There are exceptions, sure. But I think that that’s why photographs work very well, too. They’re this remarkable frozen story that you can immerse yourself, and interpret, and perhaps even cast yourself into, to some degree, narcissistically. 

Still to come on No Stupid Questions: Stephen and Angela discuss what makes a story worth telling.

DUBNER: Oh my God. You know, I don’t care whether that’s true.

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DUBNER So, look, I am plainly pro-storytelling, but I also think that there’s a lot of reasons to be careful, even skeptical, of stories.  

DUCKWORTH: For the same reason, right? Because they’re so sticky. They’re so persuasive. 

DUBNER: They’re very sticky, even if they’re not true, or even if they’re partially true. One reason that we particularly remember things are because they’re anomalous. So, it’s like, if there’s an N of one, we remember it. “Oh, my gosh. Did you hear about that woman who did that, and then this happened?” And it is wildly memorable. 

And the problem with that is, it’s very easy to falsely interpret that anomalous event as normative. I mean, that’s what happens in the news every day. We read about something that is unusual and often dramatic. And even though we know it’s unusual and dramatic, we then, because we’re pattern-seeking animals, we assume that that’s the way things are going to keep happening. 

DUCKWORTH: So, as a journalist, what’s the ethical road to follow there? 

DUBNER: I’m really glad you asked that question, because I think whether you do journalism or just read journalism — obviously, a lot more people read it than produce it — it’s really important to challenge it as you’re reading it. So, if I’m reading The New York Times, I say, okay, this Times journalist is telling me that this thing happened to this person, and therefore that means that the labor market is going to move in a certain direction. So, as scientists like to say, the plural of anecdote is not data. But in journalism, the kind of self-critical cliché is if something happens three times, it’s a trend. If you find three examples of it, then it’s a thing. 

DUCKWORTH: There’s actually a study on that, by the way. 

DUBNER: That three is the magic number? 

DUCKWORTH: Yeah. Three makes a streak. 

DUBNER: Yeah. So, that is not great because it’s very easy then to find patterns that don’t exist. 


DUBNER: And also, getting back to just dramatic stories that seem to represent something much larger and often scarier than they are. Look, a lot of psychology textbooks still contain the parable of the murder of Kitty Genovese as representing bystander apathy. 

DUCKWORTH: The bystander effect, yeah.

DUBNER: Right. This is a really good example of a story that was not true the way it was mostly portrayed, and that came to stand for something that many people in the world now fear, and they probably shouldn’t. 

DUCKWORTH: So, okay for the few people who haven’t heard it — now, I’m saying this cautiously because I feel like I’m going to now implant in their hippocampus a story that they won’t soon forget. But what is the Kitty Genovese story, Stephen?

DUBNER: So, Kitty Genovese was a young woman who lived in Kew Gardens, Queens, who was murdered brutally, horribly. 

DUCKWORTH: And that’s all true. 

DUBNER: That’s all true. And the guy who killed her, his name is Winston Moseley, and I believe he died recently. And it was a particularly horrible crime, but the story that came to be famous and that worked its way into psychology textbooks had to do with the fact that there was an article written in The New York Times that described how 38 bystanders, people in the neighborhood, had ignored her cries for help and that no one had done anything or called the police. That was the headline story. 

DUCKWORTH: It’s an unforgettable story. 

DUBNER: And that generated the idea of bystander apathy, which is if something terrible is happening, a lot of people don’t want to get involved. And it turns out that if you pull apart the story of what actually happened that night, which is a little difficult to do, because this was in the 1960s, but we went back and in our second book, SuperFreakonomics, we actually retold the story as well as we could, including the incentives for the reporters involved and the police involved. 

And it turns out that the story as rendered in The New York Times, and the story as magnified throughout our collective memory and into the psychology textbooks, was just not right. It wasn’t that nobody shouted out and tried to stop it. It wasn’t that nobody had called the police, apparently, although that’s contested. The fact was, was that the murder was actually interrupted. The guy had attacked her, and then was scared off, ran away, but then came back later and finished the crime. 

So, it was a tragedy. But the general perception was that somehow 38 people were standing at their windows, looking down, and watching this happen, and doing nothing. And that was very, very, very untrue. But the story was so compelling that it lived on. 

 DUCKWORTH: Was it an exaggeration, or was it a total falsehood? It sounds like it may have been an exaggeration. 

 DUBNER: I would say it was somewhere between a medium and a grotesque exaggeration. 

 DUCKWORTH: You’re now talking about how the paradox may be that the stickiest of stories are least likely to be true. Is that going too far?

 DUBNER: I think that’s going too far. 

 DUCKWORTH: Do I need to step back three feet?

 DUBNER: I mean, the story of Adolf Hitler is a pretty sticky story. And the story of Adolf Hitler that most of us know from the history books seems to be pretty true. So, I don’t know if I’d go that far. 

 DUCKWORTH: Well, I’m not saying that every extreme story — but in my field, in social science, we’re living through what is net a good thing, which is, I think they’re calling it the replicability crisis, or the replicability revolution. And it’s the idea that there are these, like, “gee whiz” findings that are just so surprising. 

Like, “Oh, did you know that the color of the wall that you’re looking at is going to determine your mood and your behavior for the rest of the day?” Things like that. And the more improbable, and surprising, astonishing, and therefore sticky the finding, one could argue, without knowing anything else, actually, the less likely it’s true. 

 DUBNER: Yeah. So, I’m so glad you bring that up because we’ve written about a lot of things that I could see easily trying to dismiss as just a story, right? If you say that the legalization of abortion led to less crime because it meant that there were fewer unwanted children being born, and social science shows that unwantedness is a really bad thing to have as a child. So, look, we tell the kind of stories that one is right to be skeptical of and right to challenge. Which is why, whether it’s in books, or now in the podcast, there is, what I guess I would consider, a sort of responsible version of storytelling. 

And this gets us back to what you had asked at the beginning, which is, are stories stickier than data? And my answer would be yes, they probably are. But for sticky stories to also be believable, you should include as much data as you possibly can. That, to me, is why a sort of hybrid version of storytelling is very compelling, which is, yes, it’s causal. This happened, which led to this happening, which led to this happening. But those three sentences alone are not enough. 

DUCKWORTH: They’re illustrative. 

DUBNER: And you need to back them up with evidence. But I argue that stories, because we gravitate toward them and because they are sticky, it’s important to tell them, but to challenge them during the telling as much as you possibly can. So, to include as much data as you can, to include the magnitude of the effect, to include the time series, because if there’s a huge effect, but it’s gone within a year, well, the story becomes a lot less dramatic. But it’s important to tell that, because maybe it was novelty more than anything. 

And so, when you’re telling the story and you’re saying, “I believe this is what caused that event,” it’s also imperative to introduce the other possible causes, and explain why they’re not true. And this is one thing that good academic papers do. They’ll say, “We believe there’s a strong relationship between, let’s say, the number of police and the crime rate.” Well, let’s have some evidence. But let’s also have some other potential factors that may have led to less crime, and let’s interrogate each of those as well, because a story on its own is just not compelling enough to be accepted. 

DUCKWORTH: Well, it might be compelling enough, but it ought not be, right? Like, you basically have to take the responsibility as a reader, and certainly as a writer, to not prey upon our narrative-loving human nature.

DUBNER: Right. And this is why Twitter is both very effective and very frustrating. Because you can tell a story in 140 characters, and it might even be mostly true, but what it omits is almost certainly large enough to make you question the validity of the story itself. The other thing that I find so interesting about storytelling in the modern era, there’s a lot of discussion about who “owns the story,” and who’s entitled to tell the story. 

DUCKWORTH: Wait, what does that mean? 

DUBNER: If you’re telling a story about, let’s say, accomplishment, or education, or crime, or some kind of social factor and it involves some sort of demographic groups, maybe it’s a gender group, or an ethnic group, or racial group, whatever. You know, if you’re describing that, and you’re from outside of one of those groups, there’s a question of, “Well, that’s not really your story to describe.” And I find that to be a really interesting dilemma. 

DUCKWORTH: I thought about this. I recently read — and I cannot even tell you why. Oh, because I just found it in a used bookstore — The Good Earth. Did you read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck? We all remember her middle initial. I don’t know why. You loved it, right? You read it and you loved it. 

DUBNER: I loved it. I did. 

DUCKWORTH: She won the Nobel Prize in literature. So, I just finished this a week or two ago. And I remember thinking, okay, she grew up largely in China, but she’s a white woman from suburban Philadelphia, really. And, she wrote about my cultural tradition. It, by the way, as you probably also know, was made into an Academy Award-winning film where, of course, largely the cast was white. None of this would play well in 2020, and I think that’s largely good. 

DUBNER: So, that book was published in the 1930s or something? 


DUBNER: So, look, the 1930s are not the 2020s and circumstances change a lot. And I think that most people are smart enough to recognize that, too. And yet, we see a lot of now retroactive questioning of who owns a story and whether a story should be considered legitimate. In this case, do you? Did you consider her telling of that story, despite her outsider status, to be worthwhile and legitimate? Forget about whether it holds up over time as a novel. 

DUCKWORTH: Like, who does Pearl S. Buck think she is to be writing the history or sharing that when it wasn’t really “her’s.” I guess, if I were really offended, I wouldn’t have bought the book or read it. But many people probably are. You know, she wrote The Good Earth relatively early in her literary career. So, she was alive for a long time while controversy was swirling, and she was going back and forth with her critics. And yes, some questioned her legitimacy. But, yeah, I mean, I thought she defended herself pretty well. I was not offended. 

DUBNER: So, when it comes to storytelling, my favorite moment thinking about stories — because if you’re a human, you think about stories, but if you’re a writer, which I have been pretty much my whole life, you really think about stories. 

DUCKWORTH: Yeah. It’s your currency. 

DUBNER: The biggest smile I ever got is when I was writing my first book, which was a family memoir about my parents having both been Jewish and both converting, before they met each other, to Catholicism, and then growing up very Catholic. 

DUCKWORTH: And then you become a Jew again. 

DUBNER: Yeah. So, as part of this reporting — it took place over maybe seven or eight years. There was a lot of biographical reporting and so on. But I also just was absorbing a lot of theology. And so I was reading books, obviously, and going to lectures. And there was this one lecture by this very aged Jewish scholar named Adin Steinsaltz, who had compiled the modern version of the Talmud that many people study. And I attended the lecture, and it was really great. And I learned a lot from it. 

And then came the question-and-answer session. And someone asked him a question. And it was such a difficult question that I felt I was the one being asked. I was horrified. It was so hard. The question was this. They said, “Excuse me, Rabbi Steinsaltz. If someone asked you to say, what has Judaism contributed to the world, what would you say?” And I thought, oh, my God, it’s such a challenging and hard question that’s almost asking for a defensive answer. And he’d been talking earlier about the origins of the afterlife, the idea of the afterlife, which was simultaneously, as I recall, a Greek and Jewish idea. 

DUCKWORTH: That there is an afterlife. 

DUBNER: Yeah. That there is one. He was asked this, what seemed to me, impossibly difficult question. Like this is going to take months to answer. And he just kind of smiled and he said, “Yes, I would say that Judaism gave the world the idea of a happy ending to every story.” The happy ending referring to the afterlife. And I thought, oh my God. I don’t care whether that’s true. 

DUCKWORTH: I hope he was able to say, “Drops mic.” But I’m guessing that given the era and given that he was a distinguished rabbi — but he would if he could, don’t you think? 

DUBNER: It was a mic-drop line. The thing to remember about a happy ending, I think we often fill those in for ourselves, even if we don’t think they’re going to go that way. And that really gets us to optimism and why stories help us believe the best in ourselves and others that may not always be warranted, but it’s desirable. 

DUCKWORTH: And I’m no different, by the way — never, never saw a rom-com I didn’t like a little bit, and that’s mostly because they have happy endings. I think what’s so interesting about stories is that it’s as if every story really has a moral or we’ll make one up for it. Because we’re always trying to draw inferences on lessons learned about the universe or human nature that we’ll then project onto our next experience. I mean, I do think we are the storytelling species. It is fascinating to me how strong our narrative muscle is. And we’re flexing it all the time, whether it’s good for us or not. 

DUBNER: You don’t think dogs tell each other stories?

DUCKWORTH: Is that what they’re doing? 

DUBNER: When they’re sniffing each other? 

DUCKWORTH: When they’re sniffing each other’s butts? 

DUBNER: “Oh, yeah. I know this butt. You hang out with Max, right? I can tell. There’s a little bit of Max right there.” 

DUCKWORTH: “How the hell are you?” Yeah, but that’s a pretty short story. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little more complicated than that. 

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No Stupid Questions is part of the Freakonomics Radio Network. This episode was produced me, Rebecca Lee Douglas. And now here is a fact-check of today’s questions. 

Stephen thinks that the Bible is, “the most read book in the history of the universe,” but Angela is skeptical. Unfortunately, LexisNexis doesn’t have many statistics on intergalactic literature, but it seems safe to say that the Bible is the most-read book in human history. According to the  Guinness Book of World Records, approximately 5 billion copies have been sold. However, it’s hard to know exact numbers given that it was produced and distributed by countless publishers over many centuries. The entire Bible has been translated into at least 349 languages, while 2,123 languages have a translated version of at least one book of the Bible. Some of the other popular books that the Bible is “among” include: Quotations from the Works of Mao Zedong, The Lord of The Rings, and The Twilight Saga

Stephen says that the stories from the Old Testament were passed down in an era before written language. It’s true that early Israel was an oral society, and much of the Bible was passed down by word of mouth before it was finally transcribed between the eighth and the sixth century B.C. But evidence of origins of written communication go back much earlier, to around 3,000 B.C in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia — although the earliest surviving work of literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, was not written until another thousand years after that. Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia should also be credited as “among” the first cultures to describe an afterlife, along with the early Greek and Jewish people.

Later on, Stephen theorizes that the most compelling photojournalism features people, although he admits there are some exceptions — which I’m sure National Geographic photographers would appreciate. But it does seem that the most lauded documentary photography of all time is of people. Only about 10 to 15 percent of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential Images of All Time” highlight nonhuman subjects, including journalist Sam Shere’s 1937 photo of the Hindenberg disaster and the infamous “Loch Ness Monster” image, now known to be a hoax. That’s it for the fact-check.

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No Stupid Questions is produced by Freakonomics Radio and Stitcher; our staff includes Alison Craiglow, Greg Rippin, James Foster, and Corinne Wallace. Thanks also to our intern, Emma Tyrrell, for her help with this episode. Our theme song is “And She Was” by Talking Heads — special thanks to David Byrne and Warner Chappell Music. If you’d like to listen to our show ad-free, subscribe to Stitcher Premium. You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter @NSQ_Show and on Facebook @NSQShow. Also, Stephen and Angela refer to lots of experts and studies that we don’t have time to fully explore during the episode. But if you want to learn more, you can always visit We provide links to all the references that you heard today. Thanks for listening! 

DUBNER: In the modern era, there’s a lot of discussion about who “owns the story.”

DUCKWORTH: Mmm. Wait, what does that mean? Can you — sorry, I said “Mmm” as if I actually knew, but I was faking comprehension.

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