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Science Of Sadness And Joy: ‘Inside Out’ Gets Childhood Emotions Right

Inside Out, a new Pixar film, is about a girl named Riley who is eleven years old and has just moved from her home in Minnesota to the West Coast. There, she is lonely without her friends and everything seems different. Much of the film is spent inside Riley’s mind, which features a control center manned by five personified emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.

Scientists have praised the film for being remarkably true to what has been learned so far about the human mind, emotions and memory.

“It zeroes in on one of the most poignant times in an individual’s life, which is the transition to the preteen and early teen years, where kids — and, I think, in particular girls — start to really powerfully feel the loss of childhood,” says Dacher Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

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