Media Technology MSc

MSc Thesis


Subtle Posture Changes Can Affect Emotional Intensity While Watching Movies


Marie de Vos




Moviemakers can make use of different techniques to provide the audience with a rich emotional experience. A lot of different factors have already been shown to influence emotion perception in films, 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. In this study we look 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. We expected an upright posture to intensify Happy emotions while a slumped posture was expected to intensify Sad emotions. Evidence was found for the claim that screen position caused more intense emotions in the Happy condition. Our results did not support our hypotheses for the Sad condition. Even though not all our hypotheses were supported by our results, promising evidence has been found which shows it is worth investigating this issue further. Moreover, future research will also be helped by the provided guidelines making it possible to build further on the current study.


Full Reference

Marie de Vos, "Subtle Posture Changes Can Affect Emotional Intensity While Watching Movies", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2010