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ToK - Art, Emotion, and Empathy
Transcript of ToK - Art, Emotion, and Empathy
Emotions Disrupt Rational Thought
Although emotion and reason are thought to go hand-in-hand in making decisions, a balance is required to make sound decisions.
Music and Biology
According to biochemical research, listening to pleasant music triggers a release of dopamine.
Pictures are just colors
Music is just sound
Similarly, one could argue that music is simply a collection of audible frequencies.
To what extent can music and emotional imagery manipulate reasoning and evoke feelings of empathy in people?
Music and Emotional Images
Real Life Applications
Animal Rights Activists use sad music
and video clips that are designed to evoke feelings of empathy from the viewers.
This causes viewers to feel obligated
to donate and support the cause of the
homeless and mistreated animals.
Their actions goes against their
When we see other beings in a state of pain, our biological response is often to sympathize and feel a similar emotion.
Images of suffering, such as poverty, facial grimaces, or even mistreated animals, trigger empathetical responses that cause varying degrees of emotional pain and pity.
Emotion-charged imagery if often paired with sad music that increases our feelings of pity and shame.
A similar chemical response likely occurs when listening to sad music, which would cause biological pity and sadness instead.
This chemical is responsible for pleasure, thrills, and varying degrees of satisfaction.
Our decisions become emotionally charged and begin to lack reason.
This is why we feel more obligated to support a cause after experiencing pity, even if the end result is the same (a plain donation box versus a donation box decorated with sad pictures).
When images and music are used to alter and intensify our emotions, our emotions can overpower the rational portion of our decision-making.
Heart-wrenching songs and pictures do not affect everyone, however, and their effectiveness may be argued against.
It may seem that the effectiveness of each is determined by the audience's willingness to feel emotion.
Sometimes, people (such as stoics) can choose to block out emotions or filter out what they do not wish to feel to varying degrees of success.
Pictures, particularly in a digital sense, are just arrangements of color.
The Immediate cause
This arrangement of colored circles, for example, does not generally produce an emotional response.
Arguably enough, however, this is essentially what pictures are.
Then would it make sense for an arrangement of sounds to have an emotional effect?
Can music be used to corrupt one's rational way of thinking?
is the singer of the background music "Angels"
he senses that we all have is our main way of
Involves hearing, sight, smell, taste, and
interacting with our surroundings.
The advertisement touches upon two of the five senses: Sight and Hearing
ight in the images of abused and mistreated animals
earing is manipulted in the commercial's use of sad music
What role does our past memories have
in our decision making?
Our past memories can affect our
decisions as well because they
have left a mark on us
Some viewers who have
had their own experiences
with animals share an emotional
connection with the animals in
Since they also have had animals
under their care
Therefore appealing to
their emotions and
affecting their reasoning
The role of Music within this
Public Service Announcement
What happens to the emotional
effect if the background music is changed?
What role does color play in the manipulation of emotion?
Study to see the effect of the
color red on the performance of
students during tests
They predicted that it can
impair their performance
since the color red evokes
emotions that leads to an
avoidance of motivation
Students with the
red tests scored 20% lower
Movie directors play with colors to play with the audience's emotions. Directors emphasize the feeling of temperature using 'white balance' and color temperature. In the Cohen brothers' film,
, "cool" (blue) color temperature is used to convey the chilly North Dakota weather and the frigid personalities of the characters. In Spike Lee's, Do the Right Thing, "warm" (red) color temperature highlights the burning summer heat in Brooklyn and the seething racial tensions.
Zettl (1990) states that for certain types of scenes desaturated colors, or black and white, can produce stronger emotional reactions. Zettl (1990) suggests that color makes these kinds of internal events external and does not allow people to get involved emotionally. According to desaturation theory, color leads people to look at rather than into a scene.
Brandon Cuevas, Melissa Ozdemir, Allen Patrick Poon