The Reality of Illusion deals with the problems - psychology and spectatorship - that are central to the field of cinema studies. The author joins a small group of theorists who are sounding a call to increase the emphasis on experimental method as the primary tool for research on film viewing. He regards cognitive theory, which treats the mind as an information processor and a computer as an inspiration, as the research paradigm of choice for film theorists. The film viewer is ""a standard biological audio/visual processor"". Thus, Anderson has organized this book according to areas of film theory that can be studied from a cognitive perspective - human perception, perception of images and sounds in the film medium, problems of continuity and narrativity, and character recognition and attribution.