This Video Explains The Real Psychology Behind Inside Out

Not too many people can watch Pixar’s Inside Out without feeling somewhat transformed. The common reaction is walking out of the theater in mute admiration and waking up the next morning feeling as though they were seeing the world with new eyes.

But is the psychology of Inside Out accurate?

The Nerdwriter, a video essayist named Evan Puschak, broke down the history of the thinking behind Inside Out.

A primer if you forgot: Inside Out posits that we’re ruled by five anthropomorphic emotions sitting inside a control room, running our behavior.

That theory is based on the work of Paul Ekman, who said that there were seven emotions — he included surprise and contempt — each with a discernable facial pattern. It’s a break from earlier psychoanalysis, which held that key emotions could be expressions of repressed memories or other feelings. Puschak theorizes that the quantifiable way in which Inside Out could be reflective of our current computer culture.

The video essay is well worth a watch, as it does a much more complete job of explaining the history of theory. Now, off to go rewatch Inside Out and cry all over again.


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