Data mining novels reveals the storytelling has six basic emotional arcs

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    Scientists at the Computational Story Lab at the University of Vermont in Burlington have used sentiment analysis to map the emotional arcs of over 1,700 stories and then used data-mining techniques to reveal the most common arcs. They found a set of six core trajectories which form the building blocks of complex narratives.
    Their method is straightforward. The idea behind sentiment analysis is that words have a positive or negative emotional impact. So words can be a measure of the emotional valence of the text and how it changes from moment to moment. So measuring the shape of the story arc is simply a question of assessing the emotional polarity of a story at each instant and how it changes.

    The six basic emotional arcs are these:

    A steady, ongoing rise in emotional valence as in a rags-to-riches story such as Alice’s Adventures Underground by Lewis Carroll. A steady ongoing fall in emotional valence as in a tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet. A fall then a rise, such as the man-in-a-hole story, discussed by Vonnegut in his 1995 lecture. A rise then a fall, such as the Greek myth of Icarus. Rise-fall-rise, such as Cinderella. Fall-rise-fall, such as Oedipus.

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/...the-six-basic-emotional-arcs-of-storytelling/

    Paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.07772
     
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  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    Or Fall-Fall-Rise-Rise-Fall, as in any waltz melody.

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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Whoever can describe Alice in Wonderland as a "rags to riches" story needs his head examined. Who are these turkeys?
     
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I've never read the original manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Underground. Who knows?
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I've read enough about it and its creation to be confident that it doesn't differ in essence from the published version. (It was written by a don at my old college, for the daughter of the Dean, and there is a lot of stuff about it in the college library.) You would be perverse in the extreme to portray this fantasy as a "rags to riches" story.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It looks like they discovered that from the eight ways of making three selections from among two choices (the bare minimum combinatorial complexity necessary for creating an "arc") their computer is pretty good but cannot distinguish consecutive identical choices.

    So from among the eight; "fall fall fall" is read as "fall", "rise rise fall" is read by their computer as "rise fall", and so forth. No doubt they are working on the problem.

    Meanwhile, they are getting closer to spotting them all. That's progress. Congratulations, gentlemen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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