Cognitive science’s Vera Tobin publishes essay on “The Art of the Plot Twist”

Vera Tobin

Vera Tobin, an associate professor of cognitive science at Case Western Reserve University, recently wrote an essay in Aeon. 

In the essay, titled “The Art of the Plot Twist,” Tobin states that surprise twists have two kinds of value. 

“One is the charm of the surprise itself. When a story serves up a convincing surprise, we get to have an ‘aha’ experience, an (engineered) epiphany about a deeper, truer interpretation of what went before. The other, less obvious, benefit is the opportunity to see ourselves as suckers without shame. We’ve been dupes, then learned that we were duped (and how). We know better than to think we’ll never be fooled again; the important thing is to find a good use for that wooden nickel,” Tobin concludes in her essay.

Read the article online.