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Movie: Inside Out (2015)

Rating: PG
Length: 1hour 35min
Psychology Topics: Emotional development
Storyline: Eleven-year old Riley's family moves from the Midwest to California. There's a lot to learn about handling one's emotions - with acknowledging the wide range of emotions and expressing them appropriately.

Teaching With This Movie:

  • What are the core emotions that humans experience?
    Inside Out identifies 5 basic emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. Throughout history, philosophers like Descartes, scientists like Darwin, and psychologists like Paul Ekman have identified different core emotions. Create a list of historical core emotions and discuss how socio-cultural factors have influenced our understanding of emotions.
  • What is the James-Lange theory of emotions?
    How does the Autonomic Nervous System influence the experience of emotions? How do expressions like "my heart sank" or "the thought of that turns my stomach" support causation or correlation of the biological response theory? How did Walter Cannon's experiments support or disprove the James-Lange theory?
  • What does crying prove?
    Identify 3 types of tears that humans have. What has chemical analysis of human tears shown? What impact might an adult experience if they never experience emotional crying?
  • Memory and Motivation Connection
    Read recent studies by Dacher Keltner and Paul Ekman about how the current state of a person's emotions can influence their memory of the past. How do emotions, such as anger, help a person identify a problem and motivate action?
  • Micro Expressions
    Describe our current understanding of universal facial expressions and how they communicate emotions. How does the use of babies help to sort out the nature versus nurture argument regarding emotions? What are "micro expressions"? What are the differences and similarities between consciously suppressed versus unconsciously repressed micro expressions?

Watch Inside Out now through Amazon.

Return to the Master List of Psychology Movies.


November 20, 2019


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