Wednesday, April 24, 2013

koffka on comics

In discussing our ability to perceive emotions through the actions of others, Koffka (1935) references Mickey Mouse, alluding most likely to the animated films, but also obliquely perhaps the ability of comic strips to convey emotion:

The best examples for our argument are perhaps certain trick films after the pattern of Michey Mouse, for here there is objectively neither motion nor emotion, but a mere sequence of strange drawings. But this sequence gives rise to objects in the behavioral world of the observers which move, and are agile or clumsy, exuberant or dejected, and so forth. The merit of this example lies in the fact that here all these characters are only in the behavioral objects and entirely absent in the geographical ones. The "meanings" which those forms and motions possess for us are therefore most clearly aspects or results of the psychophysical organizations produced by the stimuli.

~ Kurt Koffka (1935) Principles of Gestalt Psychology