The Psychology of “Inside Out”

I’ve seen the latest Pixar animated feature Inside Out twice now, and I thought it was a remarkable film.  As an adult, it gave me a lot to think about, yet if I was a kid, I would’ve enjoyed it just as much.  It’s a great starting point for explaining emotions and memories to children.

So I was excited to listen to a Science Friday podcast which interviewed the film’s science advisor.  The interview first played an excerpt from the 1943 film Reason and Emotion, then contrasted that with the five emotions from Inside Out.  This was followed by an interview with Dr. Dacher Keltner, professor of  psychology at UC Berkeley and the movie’s technical advisor.  Dr. Keltner explained how he got involved in the project, what emotions could have been chosen (why not Love?), and gave other insights into the film’s production.

If the box office numbers hold up, there are all kinds of possibilities for a sequel!


The podcast can be found at The Dr. Keltner interview starts around the 12 minute mark.

Read more about Dr. Keltner at


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