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Fractal Structure of Event Segmentation Lessons From Reel and Real Events

Fractal Structure of Event Segmentation Lessons From Reel and Real Events

Ecological Psychology 25(1): 81-101

We investigated fractality in the segmentation of cinematic and live events. Four movies from distinct genres were first analyzed and found to be fractal, albeit in different regions of the fractal range. In Experiment 1, viewers parsed the films' events, attending to short or long timescales, using a button box to indicate break points. The temporal structure of film viewing was found to be fractal regardless of the scale of attention and to reflect the differing fractal editing structure of the films. Experiment 2 found event segmentation to be fractal in a natural setting, a basketball game, as well. An additional parallel between reel and real events was uncovered: fractal indices were at the higher end of the range for both the film genre intended to be anxiogenic and the more suspenseful portion of the basketball game. We argue that the fractal structure of perception reflects the fractal structure of events whether the events are in film or in nature. We speculate that fractal structure has implications for understanding subjective experience and, ultimately, the correspondence between films and the world.

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Accession: 036749429

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1080/10407413.2013.753811

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