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Cryptic Emotions and the Emergence of a Metatheory of Mind in Popular Filmmaking.
Cogn Sci 2018; 42(4):1317-1344CS

Abstract

Hollywood movies can be deeply engaging and easy to understand. To succeed in this manner, feature-length movies employ many editing techniques with strong psychological underpinnings. We explore the origins and development of one of these, the reaction shot. This shot typically shows a single, unspeaking character with modest facial expression in response to an event or to the behavior or speech of another character. In a sample of movies from 1940 to 2010, we show that the prevalence of one type of these shots-which we call the cryptic reaction shot-has grown dramatically. These shots are designed to enhance viewers' emotional involvement with characters. They depict a facial gesture that reflects a slightly negative and slightly aroused emotional state. Their use at the end of conversations, and typically at the end of scenes, helps to leave viewers in a state of speculation about what the character is thinking and what her thoughts may mean for the ongoing narrative.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Cornell University.Department of Psychology, Cornell University.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29356041

Citation

Cutting, James E., and Kacie L. Armstrong. "Cryptic Emotions and the Emergence of a Metatheory of Mind in Popular Filmmaking." Cognitive Science, vol. 42, no. 4, 2018, pp. 1317-1344.
Cutting JE, Armstrong KL. Cryptic Emotions and the Emergence of a Metatheory of Mind in Popular Filmmaking. Cogn Sci. 2018;42(4):1317-1344.
Cutting, J. E., & Armstrong, K. L. (2018). Cryptic Emotions and the Emergence of a Metatheory of Mind in Popular Filmmaking. Cognitive Science, 42(4), pp. 1317-1344. doi:10.1111/cogs.12586.
Cutting JE, Armstrong KL. Cryptic Emotions and the Emergence of a Metatheory of Mind in Popular Filmmaking. Cogn Sci. 2018;42(4):1317-1344. PubMed PMID: 29356041.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Cryptic Emotions and the Emergence of a Metatheory of Mind in Popular Filmmaking. AU - Cutting,James E, AU - Armstrong,Kacie L, Y1 - 2018/01/22/ PY - 2017/07/03/received PY - 2017/11/28/revised PY - 2017/12/01/accepted PY - 2018/1/23/pubmed PY - 2019/6/15/medline PY - 2018/1/23/entrez KW - Conversations KW - Embodiment KW - Emotions KW - Faces KW - Mind reading KW - Movies KW - Theory of mind SP - 1317 EP - 1344 JF - Cognitive science JO - Cogn Sci VL - 42 IS - 4 N2 - Hollywood movies can be deeply engaging and easy to understand. To succeed in this manner, feature-length movies employ many editing techniques with strong psychological underpinnings. We explore the origins and development of one of these, the reaction shot. This shot typically shows a single, unspeaking character with modest facial expression in response to an event or to the behavior or speech of another character. In a sample of movies from 1940 to 2010, we show that the prevalence of one type of these shots-which we call the cryptic reaction shot-has grown dramatically. These shots are designed to enhance viewers' emotional involvement with characters. They depict a facial gesture that reflects a slightly negative and slightly aroused emotional state. Their use at the end of conversations, and typically at the end of scenes, helps to leave viewers in a state of speculation about what the character is thinking and what her thoughts may mean for the ongoing narrative. SN - 1551-6709 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29356041/Cryptic_Emotions_and_the_Emergence_of_a_Metatheory_of_Mind_in_Popular_Filmmaking L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12586 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -