Film

Cognitive Daily

Category archives for Film

In movie fight scenes, punches often miss by a foot or more, but when sound effects are added, and the punchee adds an effective-looking recoil, we’re convinced that the punch is “real.” We’ve posted on this phenomenon before: when a “click” sound is played as two animated balls pass by each other, it’s perceived as…

World Cup Soccer and visual memory

In many ways, my career has been dominated by efforts to make “work” bear as much resemblance to “having fun” as possible. Today’s article only confirms that rule. Yesterday afternoon, I spent an hour watching a World Cup soccer match, and for once I could claim that it was completely relevant to work. I could…

Applying science to art

Over at Uncertain Principles, Chad Orzel’s hosting a discussion on who should be on a hypothetical Mount Rushmore of science. There’s a fairly broad consensus that Darwin, Einstein, and Newton make the cut, but rather heated debate on who should be the fourth member. Many of Chad’s readers suggest Sigmund Freud. I found that surprising,…

Unknown White Male

What’s it like to have all your memories erased? Well, not all your memories, because if that happened, you’d simply be like a newborn infant, and you’d have to relearn everything. The more interesting scenario is to lose only certain memories — the memories that most people think of as “true” memories: episodic memory. Memories…

What’s the best way to ensure that law enforcement officers don’t abuse their authority and coerce innocent suspects into confessing? Yesterday we discussed research suggesting that a side-view videotape of a confession was more likely than a head-on view to result in an accurate assessment of whether that confession was voluntary or coerced. But the…

College student Bradley Page dropped his girlfriend off in a park one evening, only to learn later that she had been murdered and buried in a shallow grave. Police investigating the death interviewed him about the incident, repeatedly asking him why he could have left her alone in that park. “It was the biggest mistake…

Does being a movie expert make you a better predictor of the Oscar winners? Comedy Central pundit parodist Stephen Colbert claims that he made his oscar predictions without having seen any of the movies, but then went 5 for 5, even predicting the upset of the year, Crash, to win best picture. If you take…

One of the first questions our son Jim asks when a new movie comes out is “what’s it rated?” The more “adult” the rating, the more appealing the movie is to him: PG is the lowest rating he’ll even consider, PG-13 is better, and R is best. Since he’s only 14, we don’t take him…

Literary theory is being influenced more and more by research in cognitive psychology, and as the previous article I discussed showed, psychology research is also influenced by theory. Today’s article, “Generating Predictive Inferences While Viewing a Movie” (Joseph P. Magliano, Northern Illinois University, and Katinka Dijkstra and Rolf A. Zwaan, Florida State University, in Discourse…

What are we doing when we watch a movie?

Most schools of literary criticism suggest that it’s fruitless to attempt to consider what the intentions of the author are; we can only examine the “text” itself: it is the only solid evidence we have. Similarly, critics toss up their hands when trying to comprehend the experience of the reader of a text. While the…