Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Visual Arts

First Advisor

Fernando Orellana

Second Advisor

Michelle Chilcoat




suffocation model, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, romantic relationships, film, media portrayals, processing, data visualization, digital art, code art


This thesis explores how romantic relationship expectations are represented in film from the 1920's to today through a forty-minute generative visualization made with the coding environment, Processing. In my experimental research project, Expectations in Film Relationships: The Suffocation Model in Film, (McNeil & Morton, 2017), I examined Finkel and colleagues’ Suffocation Model (2014) and how characters in the highest grossing romance film from each decade portray the characteristics of the model. This paper explains the original research project and the steps taken to develop the animation, incorporating the resulting data and conclusions that represent ten romance films. This project examines the complex and mutually influential relationship between film and psychology. The ambiguity, mystery, and randomization I have built into the animation, Between Them, addresses this complexity.


Supplemental audiovisual material available by contacting Special Collections.