90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why Fantasy Is More Important Than You Think

Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2." (AP/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Were you one of many who lined up to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?”

According to Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom, when we get involved in activities of imagination, whether it be watching a movie or day dreaming, we’re not just wasting time.

Activities in fantasy worlds actually make up our favorite leisure time activity– more than eating, playing or sex.

Paul Bloom explores the power of daydreaming in his book, “How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like,” now out in paperback.

This interview originally aired on 8/9/10.

Guest:

  • Paul Bloom, Yale psychologist and author

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Debrabroz

    I just heard Robin Young say that if early humans spent too much time daydreaming they might “get eaten by a dinosaur”. Please- we all know that humans and dinosaurs didn’t exist at the same time- I am sure it was just a faux pas but we all, as smart people, should try our best not to support or back obvious untruths. 

    • Robin

      thanks for spelling correction! As we said we only focused on two
      chapters of his book,
      sorry if that was a surprise! And whatever I
      said regarding dinosaurs and humans, I KNOW they didn’t co exist!!! Hey
      wait a minute what about Jurassic Park?!
      All best
      Robin 

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t know she was trying to get the Republican nomination. 

  • Michael

    I listened to this interview and then read the description of the author’s book on Amazon. It does not seem that he spent as much time in the book discussing imagination and fantasy as set forth by the host. Can someone who has read the book help my understanding of this? I am very interested in imagination and how it contributes to society and evolution, but not necessarily in what disparate things humanity finds pleasurable.

  • Anvor

    I listened to the wonderful interview and thought of the Albert Einstein dictum – “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

    It’s good that the author seems to back it up. I also hope he tried to falsify it and see what happens…

    Andrei Vorobiev
    FallibilityManagement.com

  • Guest

    its Deathly Hallows not Deathly Hollows.. :/

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, we’ve made the correction. -Jill Ryan, H&N

  • Rcyoung

    thanks for spelling correction! As we said we only focused on two chapters of his book,
    sorry if that was a surprise! And whatever I said regarding dinosaurs and humans, I KNOW they didn’t co exist!!! Hey wait a minute what about Jurassic Park?!
    All best
    Robin 

  • Robin

    Thanks for spelling correction! As we said we only focused on two chapters of his book, sorry if that was a surprise! And whatever I said regarding dinosaurs and humans, I KNOW they didn’t co exist!!! Hey wait a minute what about Jurassic Park?!

    All best
    Robin 

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 22 Comment

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

Philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein discusses her new book "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away."

April 22 18 Comments

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers weigh in.

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.