Thalia R. Goldstein

Drama Games Help Kids Gain Emotional Control

Dramatic pretend play games may be causally implicated in young children's emotional control, as found in a recent random control trial.

Questions of Realness

When we watch real people portray fictional characters, do we react to them in the same way as we react to watching real people on the street?

The Arts as an Opportunity for Psychological Research

All children, all over the world, engage in dance, music, dramatic pretend play, and art. How can psychologists use this opportunity to study child development in the real world?

Breaking Down the Elements of Acting

If theatre is awesome for kids, which kids? What kinds of awesome? And how? Let's break it down.

Ho! Ho! Who? How Kids Understand Live Santa Clauses

In December, Santa is everywhere—malls, parades, and parties. But how do kids understand this live magical man? Experiences, more than age, seem to matter for understanding.

Creating Their Own Worlds: Arts and Learning

How can we ensure children are creative throughout their schooling? Engagement in the arts may be one way.

Can Children Be Actors?

If actors must have the emotional maturity and understanding to create extreme scenarios and characters, but the imagination and openness of a child, can children act?

Mindfulness and Acting

We often ask "but what is acting" or "what are actors actually doing?" Perhaps the answer is "being mindful".

Is "Emotional Work" Acting? Is Mimicry?

What should we include in the definition of acting? Does portraying a calm persona to a customer use the same psychology as acting out a character? And how does the audience think about the reality of acting?

Fiction and the Facebook Experiment

Is the anger over Facebook's mood manipulation study similar to the anger we feel when fiction doesn't go the way we think it should?

Samwise, Robin, Donkey and Watson: Why We Love Sidekicks

Why do sidekicks interest us and what could they provide for children with disabilities?

A Kiss Is Just a Kiss?

When characters fall in love on stage, what happens to the actors? Why do we care?

Gender and Fiction

The source of compassion towards fictional characters may vary by gender.

Imaginary? Real? The Tony Awards Kept Crossing the Boundary

Are the characters real, or only the actors? The 2013 Tony Awards crossed the boundaries between fiction and reality in a new and interesting way.

Real Punishment for Fictional Work

A judge in New Jersey is ordered to stop acting. So can we actually tell his fictional characters from his real thoughts?

Being in the Moment

How does singing live help lessen the attentional demands of acting?

Do Fictional Characters Affect Our Real Life?

Although we know they are fictional, portrayals of professors, detectives, lawyers and secret agents affect how we think about the real life versions of the people in those professions, and whether actors have the skills they portray.

The Mysterious Work of Acting

Is acting automated for talented actors? Or, does extensive preparation enable actors to “forget” themselves when in the moment of acting?
Psychological Realism and Characters

Psychological Realism and Characters

One interesting thing about old movies is how different the acting feels- particularly when you get back to silent movies and the first "talkies". The acting in these films was taken from melodramatic theatre, and therefore is highly, well, melodramatic.

Do You Need to "Feel" It? Acting Theory and "My Week with Marilyn"

"My Week With Marilyn" provides two examples of competing acting theory and its importance for the portrayal of characters.

What, Cognitively, Does an Actor Actually Do?

An actor uses his/her theory of mind, empathy, and emotion-regulation skills to create a realistic portrayal of a character for our enjoyment.

To Hold as 'Twere, The Mirror Up to Nature

Pretend and fiction are critical parts of our daily lives.