Watching Closely

Katalin Bálint, Thomas Klausch, Tibor Pólya

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Abstract. Theory of mind, defined as attributing intentions, feelings, and thoughts to others, is a key capacity in building mental models of narratives. Shot scale, referring to the relative size of the figure on the screen, effectively regulates theory of mind relevant visual cues carried by faces. However, research into the effect of shot scale on theory of mind responses in a narrative is almost nonexistent. The aim of the present study was to investigate the extent to which shot scale influences theory of mind responding in film viewers. Four short animated movies were annotated for average shot scale and presented in a within-subject design. Employing mixed-method data collection, participants were asked to retell the story of the films and fill in questionnaires on narrative experience. Skin conductance was also measured during exposure. Story descriptions were content analyzed for theory of mind responses. In a Poisson regression model, average shot scale predicted theory of mind response indicati...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2016


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