Posture Changes and Emotion while Watching Movies (2010)
Moviemakers can make use of different techniques to provide the audience with a rich emotional experience. However, only two modalities are commonly being appealed to, namely vision and audition. Theories of embodied cognition have shown the powerful effect our own bodily state has in experiencing emotion.
Body posture affects emotional intensity
In her graduation research project "Subtle Posture Changes Can Affect Emotional Intensity While Watching Movies", Marie de Vos studied if body postures can be used as an extra factor to enhance emotion perception in films. Participants were asked to watch various movie clips shown on different screens. The screens were positioned in such a way that in order to be able to watch the movie clip different body postures (upright, relaxed, slumped) had to be adopted. She showed participants movie scenes that were identified in a pilot study as being either "happy" or "sad".
Significant evidence was found that screen position caused more intense emotions when viewing "happy" scenes. The promising evidence found by Marie shows that it is worth investigating this approach to further.