Dr. John Schinnerer provided scientific consultation to Pixar’s new hit film, Inside Out.

Dr. John Schinnerer Added Expert Consultation to Inside Out

When UC Berkeley-trained educational psychologist, Dr. John Schinnerer, attended the premiere of the record-breaking Pixar movie Inside Out at their Emeryville campus, he was honored to have had a hand in it’s creation. According to Dr. John, ‘This movie has the opportunity to improve how people view their mental landscape – the thoughts and emotions taking place in their head.’

People aren’t typically comfortable identifying, or admitting to, difficult emotions, such as anger, fear and sadness. Along with joy and disgust, these emotions play a central role in the head of the movie’s female hero, Riley, who grapples with anger and sadness following her family’s move from Minnesota to San Francisco.

So a movie such as Inside Out, which personifies positive and negative emotions and demonstrates how they can disagree AND work together to overcome adversity normalizes peoples’ internal experience. It can be a powerful tool for all audience members. In fact, one person, sitting behind Dr. John at the premiere commented, ‘I feel like I just sat through a college Psychology class.’

‘It is my hope that Inside Out becomes part of our vocabulary in terms of what it means to be a fully functioning, happy human being, and part of that means recognizing and allowing for emotions’ says Dr. John.

Dr. Schinnerer served as a consultant to Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera (whom directed and produced Up and Monsters, Inc.) and others during their ground research. Dacher Keltner and Paul Ekman also advised on the film.

One of the key insights in the film is the idea that everyone seems to have a ‘signature emotion.’ This is seen inside the minds of Riley’s father who internal world is driven by anger, in Riley’s mother whose mind is led by sadness and in Riley, whose mind is steered by joy (for the most part!).

The movie just opened up to rave reviews last weekend. Go see for yourself what the fuss is about!