Ed Tan

Ed Tan

Affiliate professor

Ed Tan is an affiliate professor of Film, Media and Communication at the department of Media, Cognition and Communication. He has been a researcher and lecturer in departments of film and television, theatre, comparative arts and communication research in The Netherlands. Trained as a psychologist in Amsterdam he has specialised in the study of the experience that film and television viewers, and users of digital entertainment typically have. Tan attempts to explain empirically observed experiences of media and notably emotions elicited by media from their analytically identifiable formal features, complemented by the user’s competences for media and their genres. The approach is interdisciplinary in that it draws on a. cognitive, social and neuro-psychological models of emotion, b. film theory and analysis (including machine analyses of video and text) c. cognitive theories of aesthetics, fiction, and narrative.

His current research interests include 1. collaborative communication between filmmaker and film viewer, 2. the role of aesthetic form in the media experience and 3. the design of media content and experience for learning in applied contexts.

Tan was involved in the foundation of the Society for the Cognitive Study of the Moving Image (SCSMI); he is at present a.  member of the board. See http://scsmi-online.org/

He is an editor of the journal Entertainment Computing

As an emeritus of the University of Amsterdam he is an honorary professor of the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

Representative publications include:

Tan, Ed S. (1996), Emotion and the structure of narrative film. Film as an emotion machine. Mahwah (NJ): Erlbaum, 1996

Tan, Eduard S.-H. (2007). Entertainment is emotion. The functional architecture of the entertainment experience. Media Psychology, 8 (1), 28-51.

Visch, V., & Tan, E. (2009). Categorizing moving objects into film genres: The effect of animacy attribution, emotional response, and the deviation from non-fiction. Cognition, 110, 265-272.


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