Inside Out

Core Memories and Islands of Personality

TOK Standards: C, D, H, and N

Islands of Personality

According to Pixar's blockbuster film Inside Out, a person's personality is formed from a set of "core memories" that exemplify a human characteristic.
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Film Poster of Pixar's Inside Out

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Depiction of Core Memories in Inside Out

Family Island

When I was young, my aunt, my brothers, and I all watched the movie White Chicks in our living room. Even though White Chicks was a stupid and unintelligent movie, this memory of watching it has made me value family and spending time with them. This would be considered one of my core memories because it is time/movie that we always reference whenever we are all together.


This then prompts the question: How do we evaluate knowledge on interpersonal relationships using reason, memory, and emotion as WOKs?


As far back as I can remember, this was one of the earliest memories that I have spending time with my family. Reason as a WOK is used when knowing that family is a core component of my personality. Reason supports emotion as a WOK when knowing that spending time with family creates happiness. Using the following logic, I reason that spending time with my family makes me happy:


I spend a lot of time at home with my family.

When I am at home I am usually content and happy,

therefore, spending time at home with my family causes me to be content and happy.


I now know that being with my family is a part of my personality.

Humor Island

I remember sitting with my family and friends while on vacation in Myrtle Beach. We were sitting at the hotel room's dining room table and playing board games (particularly the board game: Loaded Questions). During this, we were making jokes about each other and the game. I still remember that night vividly. I remember this night particularly for being funny and laughing a lot, therefore, I would consider this to be the core memory for my 3rd island humor island. Humor differs from person to person, so we all find different things funny.


This then prompts the question, How do we construct knowledge about humor based on imagination, emotion, language, and sense perception as WOKs?


Using imagination as a WOK, we often create images in our head to add personalization to the world around us. This then makes us have a more personal response to humor.


However, humor can largely be based on language and sense perception as WOKs. When telling jokes or describing funny stories, we often know someone who is better at telling them. For example, my friend Andrea is skilled at using language to create an image in your head when she is telling a story. She often alters her voice to make impersonations of other people she's describing. Her language often prompts a happy response that usually involves laughter, and when we hear funny stories, we perceive them as being funny. Through that, we come to know things as funny.


Through the core memory of being at the beach, I have developed humor island.

Entertainment Island

On Christmas of 2006, I received my first gaming console: the nintendo gamecube. After receiving the console, my collection of video games as a form of entertainment has become much larger and the root of that collection started from that gaming console. I would consider entertainment to be a component of my personality because I have such a collection of movies, TV shows, and video games. The core memory of receiving a gamecube for Christmas has developed entertainment island.


This then prompts the question: how do we know what is entertaining based on emotion and reason as WOKs?


The discovery of entertainment and hobbies is strongly based on reason and emotion as WOKs. Similar to family island, I used reason and emotion together in order to find entertainment that triggers an emotional response (whether that be joy, sadness, fear, anger, or disgust). I argue that our appreciation for entertainment is based on the creation of an emotional response. Using the following reasoning, I can determine what I find entertaining:


I am playing/watching/doing (form of entertainment) and I am feeling... (emotional response: happy, sad, fear, etc..), therefore, the entertainment is valid to me.


I now know that entertainment is a component of my personality because the console I received on Christmas of 2008 is logically valid according to my logic and it is my initial memory of the subject.

Health Island

The core memory for health island is when I went to the doctor after one year of trying to be healthy and fit and then finding out I had lost 60 lbs. This confirmed all of my knowledge about health and nutrition.


This then leads to the question: how do we construct knowledge about nutrition and health based on intuition and reason as WOKs?


Using reason as a WOK, we can deduce the nutritional values of a food item. Using simple logic I know that foods that have a higher amounts of calories are not to be eaten in excess.


Also, I used intuition to know what foods to eat or not. For example, we instantaneously know that cake or other baked goods are not healthy for us (even though we eat them anyway). We decide the nutritional value instantly when first encounter food, and then we come to know that now and in the future.


I know that the core memory has created health island in my personality because it validates all of my knowledge about health and nutrition.

Timeline of the Formation of Core Memories

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