Michael Newman University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Characterization as Social Cognition in Welcome to the Dollhouse
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One key aspect of characterization is the construction of character psychology, the attribution to fictional representations of beliefs and desires, personality traits, and moods and emotions. Characters are products of social cognition, the human propensity for making sense of others. However, they are also products of artists who fashion them to appeal to our nature as social beings. Through an analysis of Todd Solondz‘s Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), this paper describes three processes of social cognition which are crucial for audiovisual characterization: folk psychology, causal attribution, and emotion expressions.

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