Thursday, 23 February 2017

Let me tell you a story

The animation dates from 1944 as part of an experiment called An Experimental Study of Apparent Behavior by psychologists Fritz Heider and Mary-Ann Simmel. Most of us see the video as a story. We see straight past those mobile geometrical shapes into a world of personalities and actions.

An interesting aspect of the video is how difficult it is not to see a story. A basic outline seems to emerge effortlessly from nowhere.

More here.


James Higham said...

Yep, great yarn and keeps us off the street.

Sam Vega said...

I'm sure that there's some truth in here about how we are hard-wired for spotting stories, etc., but it is relatively easy to not see a narrative if you relax and drop expectations and just focus on shapes and movement. More importantly, the people who put the film together actually tried to tell a story. They did just about everything one can do with geometric shapes to engage our sympathy and see them as having "personalities" and feelings, etc. At best this seems to be an exercise in coding and de-coding.

It's better than most of what seems to be on the telly, by the way.

Demetrius said...

Donald Duck meets Freud?

A K Haart said...

James - as blogging does.

Sam - although it is relatively easy not to see a narrative, the interesting aspect is that it is not automatic. Unless one is autistic apparently,

Demetrius - but which one does dodgy science?