An Authoring Tool for Movies in the Style of Heider and Simmel

  • Andrew S. Gordon
  • Melissa Roemmele
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8832)


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.


Asperger Syndrome 10th Grade Student Tablet Computer Authoring Tool Textual Narrative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew S. Gordon
    • 1
  • Melissa Roemmele
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Creative TechnologiesUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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