An Authoring Tool for Movies in the Style of Heider and Simmel
Seventy years ago, psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel described an influential study of the perception of intention, where a simple movie of animated geometric shapes evoked in their subjects rich narrative interpretations involving their psychology and social relationships. In this paper, we describe the Heider-Simmel Interactive Theater, a web application that allows authors to create their own movies in the style of Heider and Simmel’s original film, and associate with them a textual description of their narrative intentions. We describe an evaluation of our authoring tool in a classroom of 10th grade students, and an analysis of the movies and textual narratives that they created. Our results provide strong evidence that the authors of these films, as well as Heider and Simmel by extension, intended to convey narratives that are rich with social, cognitive, and emotional concerns.
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