Heider and Simmel (1944) An experimental study of apparent behavior.

Arguably, this work founded the study of intention perception (i.e., the ability to make good guesses about what others are trying to do just by observing their behavior).

The animation is widely-known because it’s often shown in introductory psychology courses. Yet because the animation was created in 1944, it’s hard to find crisp copies. Sara Kiesler’s lab at CMU recreated it in Flash, and has given permission for me to host a copy here,

Get Adobe Flash player

whose permalink is Heider_Flash

I’ll have more to say about the study later, but for now, I just need to get a copy of the clip up so I can link to it in a paper submission (Kiesler’s site, anthropomorphism.org, is currently down.)

I would provide player controls for this clip, such as pause, but apparently that is something that has to be encoded in the SWF itself. I’m not sure if it is, or how to expose it. Advice is welcome (email david).

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