Presentation Title

Character Space: quantifying how personality traits support story-telling

Project Collaborators

Christopher M. Danforth, Peter Sheridan Dodds

Abstract

Fictional character traits reflect underlying cultural and individual cognition about what it means to be human. But how does the archetype ecosystem support the story-telling process? Applying dimensional reduction to audience ratings of fictional characters from the website Open Psychometrics, we identify patterns in character space across authors, genres, and time periods. We use arcs through character space to investigate the features that define compelling stories. Our work supports a growing science of stories which can inform interpretation of real world events such as belief in conspiracy theories.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Christopher M. Danforth

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Program/Major

Complex Systems

Primary Research Category

Social Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

Tertiary Research Category

Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Character Space: quantifying how personality traits support story-telling

Fictional character traits reflect underlying cultural and individual cognition about what it means to be human. But how does the archetype ecosystem support the story-telling process? Applying dimensional reduction to audience ratings of fictional characters from the website Open Psychometrics, we identify patterns in character space across authors, genres, and time periods. We use arcs through character space to investigate the features that define compelling stories. Our work supports a growing science of stories which can inform interpretation of real world events such as belief in conspiracy theories.