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Chapter 5 Understanding

by: Lili Notetaker

Chapter 5 Understanding 260

Lili Notetaker
Minnesota State University, Mankato
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About this Document

Chapter 5 book notes and class notes
Principles of Visual Mass Media
Amy Lauters
Class Notes
CognitiveTheory, Chapter5




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lili Notetaker on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 260 at Minnesota State University - Mankato taught by Amy Lauters in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 36 views. For similar materials see Principles of Visual Mass Media in Mass Media Communication at Minnesota State University - Mankato.

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Date Created: 09/22/16
CHAPTER 5: COGNITIVE THEORY (BOOK NOTES)  Cinema has psychological & social effects.  Different theories about how spectators respond to cinema. HISTORY(THEORIES):  Sergei Eisenstein: Film functioned as a Pavlovian stimulus. (Triggering reflexes in audience)  Rudolf Arnheim: gestalt theories of mental activity.  Protocognitivist theories – Hugo Munsterberg’s film “A Psychological Study” = first book of film theory. We see a realistic world in film but it is also artificial and displays a 2 dimensional picture. Hugo Munsterberg: -guidance of attention is crucial in all arts. (Through movement & performance & close-ups & composition) -Imitation of cognitive activities of memory & imagination: Flashbacks & Fantasy -Modern photoplay creates a world designed to facilitate the exercise of our facilities SEMIOLOGICALTRADITION:  France after 2ndWW. Study of cinema with tools of psychology and sociology.  Experimentation with EEG monitoring of film viewing.  Semiology-emerged as important area of the humanities. Christian Mertz=leader of semiological thinking with cinema.  Influenced by phenomenology and filmology “The fact that must be understood is that films are understood”.  Narrative cinema displays a systematic set of alternatives (igms ). The temporal and spatial relationships among shots.  “Grand Syntagmatique” NEW LOOK PSYCHOLOGY:  1950’s New Look trend in America.  Researchers argued that psychologists needed to open the black box and study principles that governed memory, thinking, and judgment.  Constructive Research program: Mind actively contributes to shaping of experience.  Mental activity furnishes both structure and content.  Any sensory array is inherently ambiguous.  “Narration in the Fiction Film” David Bordwell (1985) – first book within film studies to offer an explicitly cognitive approach.  Bordwell showed how narrative strategies mobilize prototype thinking, primacy and recency effects and other reasoning shortcuts.  Most of the pictorial conventions of mainstream moviemaking are grasped immediately or can be learned easily.  “Cultural Studies”: still remains the dominant approach to understanding media. SEMIOLOGY REVISITED:  John M. Carrol- revised semiology in the light of developments in linguistics. A shot could be considered an utterance & beneath film images & sequences we can find generative linguistic structures.  Verbal language & writing systems shaped cinematic structure. COGNITION,EVOLUTION, & EMOTION:  Cognitive film studies-Films triggered emotions.  Flow of story information shapes our emotional response.  Ed SS. Ta- First to propose empirical account of cinematic emotion in “Emotion and the Structure of Narrative Film” (1996). CHAPTER 5: COGNITIVE THEORY (CLASS NOTES) HUGOMUNSTERBERG(1916):  Film environment is realistic & our brains view it more so as realistic rather than fantasy  Juxtaposition: “cannot fail to have an effect” on spectators of cinema. NEW LOOK PSYCHOLOGY:  Constructivism: Mind shapes experiences.  Gestalt: whole is NOT sum of its parts.  Visual Perception: Organizing sensory elements or forms into groups.  4 Gestalt Principles: Similarity, proximity, continuation, common fate. GESTALT:SIMILARITY:  Grouping objects together that are similar. Brain does it automatically.  Contrast=visual interest. GESTALT:PROXIMITY:  Associating objects that are close together as “together”.  Depth is reduced-two objects on the same plane or same size. GESTALT:CONTINUATION:  Brain sees smooth line of continuation.  Mind continues lines to find “closure” in a specific image. GESTALT:COMMON FATE:  Brain grouping things together that are doing the same thing. For ex. Arrows facing in the same direction are all grouped together in our brain. COGNITIVETHEORY:  David Bordwell 1985 -Frames expectations about coming events. -Actions into larger frameworks. -Schemas derived from world knowledge & cinematic conventions.  Thoughts in someone’s head-just as important as images that are seen.  Memory, projection, expectation, selectivity, habituation, salience, dissonance. PERCEPTUAL THEORY:  Memory=Links us to images we’ve seen and affects our perception.  Projection=Making sense out of abstract forms.  Expectation=Perceived notions about future things you may see.  Selectivity=Focusing on a specific detail.  Habituation=Our eyes being used to seeing an image so much that we don’t see it anymore.  Salience=If we see an image that has personal meaning to us they stand out to us more and mean more overall.  Dissonance=Our brain goes through distractions sometimes and prevents us from seeing images clearly.  Culture=Different cultural associations effect meaning. One image in one country may not mean the same thing in another.  Words=Images with certain descriptions determine how we understand the image.


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