Construction and Validation of an Instrument Measuring Actors’ Preferred Performance style

Marian Panainte


In this present paper we aim to describe the stages and the product of the effort to develop a psychometric instrument designed to measure the actors’ preferred style of work, based on the results of qualitative studies based on interviews with professional actors. The approaches or styles described by actors grossly overlap the ideologies and practices that define the main existing styles of acting. Diderot’s paradox was the starting point of a dispute between scholars and actors, writers and theoreticians. They have been discussing whether the outside-in techniques or the inside-out ones are more efficient. First of all, Diderot asserts that a good actor does not feel anything, and, precisely because of that, he elicits the strongest possible reactions from the audience. A sensitive actor cannot perform the same role with the same success. The outside-in techniques attempt to imitate the external appearance of the emotion; nevertheless, the actors are not supposed to actually feel the emotions they display. The inside-out techniques focus on generating emotions from within. Starting from the two identified directions, we developed a two dimensional instrument to better capture this preference. The present results, obtained from a sample of 201 professional actors and students, support the hypothesis that actors tend to prefer either an involved style, or, on the contrary, a detached style, each being defined by specific cognitive, subjective and behavioral components.

acting styles, scale validation, involved acting style and detached acting style.

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