Emotion 1: Emotional cause and effect

Emotional cause and effect

Point of view (Or, whose loop is it anyway?)

At the end of the previous page we talked briefly about point of view.

Let’s take a closer look at that.

What are the emotion-behaviour loops?


In this panel, there are two possible points of view: the teacher and the students. How would you describe the emotional loop from each point of view?

Hint: What is the trigger for the teacher, and what is the trigger for the students?

Your turn
Discussing your answers

What can we take from this?

The main thing here is to understand that one character’s behaviour is often another character’s trigger—it depends on whose point of view we are taking. 

How do you know whose point of view we're taking in a story or scene?

That is a topic for a whole lesson in itself, and we don't want to get bogged down in it here, so here's a quick summary:

  • While some stories present lots of points of view, most tend to favour particular characters.
  • Usually in any given scene one character will "own" the point of view. 
  • If the story is told in first person ("I did this...") then it's obviously the narrator's point of view.
  • In third person, you can identify point of view by noticing whose thoughts and emotions you're being told about.

Finally, even if there is a dominant point of view in the story, the way that characters trigger each others' emotions and behaviour means that they each take turns "owning" loops.

We'll see more of this in the checkpoint piece coming up.

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