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Re-examining the Kuleshov effect

Bruni, Pietra/T (2015) Re-examining the Kuleshov effect. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study was to further explore the Kuleshov effect, originally examined by Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov through a variety of editing experiments in the early 1920's. Concluding that audience members were likely to view a neutral-faced actor's emotions based on the stimuli he was associated with (e.g., a bowl of soup for hunger), this observation became universally accepted. Although the influence of the Kuleshov effect has been well documented in a variety of academic texts (and integrated into empirical research), the study itself has never been fully replicated in its original form. Expanding on the qualitative research of Prince & Hensley (1992), this study aimed to test the strength of Lev Kuleshov’s initial experiment through adapted replication, as well as examine the influence gender differences within the target face (actor) may have on the participant’s interpretation of facial emotional expression. Adapted replication consisted of utilizing updated video clips, including both male and female actors, and providing regulated questionnaires to all participants (rather than a freeform, post-experiment discussion). It was expected that the Kuleshov effect would be observed, and the gender of the actor would have no effect on the participants’ responses. 150 undergraduate students from the University of Pittsburgh were included in this study, with each participant viewing (10) short clips and ranking the degree to which they believe the actor was expressing (8) different emotions (via a Likert-type scale). The results of this study showed the Kuleshov effect being observed in a more nuanced manner, with significant differences existing in specific emotion conditions for the target face. Future research on this subject could feature the inclusion of different participant populations, incorporate neuroimaging techniques, or examine gender as a primary research question.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bruni, Pietra/Tptb13@pitt.eduPTB13
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCohn, Jeffrey Fjeffcohn+@pitt.eduJEFFCOHN
Committee MemberHawthorne, Williamwjh1@pitt.eduWJH1
Committee MemberCreswell,
Committee MemberOch, Dana C.dcost7@pitt.eduDCOST7
Date: 24 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 April 2015
Approval Date: 24 April 2015
Submission Date: 20 April 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 67
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kuleshov Effect, Psychology, Film Studies, Context, Emotion, Soviet Montage, Lev Kuleshov, Dynamic
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 19:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:27


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