The literature on the interpretation of audiovisuals proved the ability of music to convey meanings through associations (Cohen, 2013) and activation of cognitive schemata (Boltz, 2001). Nevertheless, as pointed out by Herget (2019), research on this issue is sparse. This results in experiments each analysing single psychological constructs, with no consideration to interpretation as a holistic process involving several interconnected operations, such as attribution of emotions and personality traits to the characters on the scene, empathy felt toward them, perception of the depicted environment and attention focusing. Here we present a study (N = 109, age = 37 ± 14) addressing the abovementioned cognitive operations. In a between-subject design, our participants watched a scene (01’ 55’’) from an unknown short movie (L’homme atlantique by M. Duras, 1981): an emotionally neutral male character slowly walks toward some large windows in a lonesome building, with the seaside in the distance. He walks, looks outside, stops, and moves out of the frame. In the first and last framing, a camera operator can be barely glimpsed reflected in a mirror for a couple of seconds. In three experimental conditions, the video was accompanied respectively by a dogged and anxious orchestral piece (The Isle of the Dead by S. Rachmaninov), a soft, melancholic and jazz solo piano (Like someone in love by B. Evans) or by ambient sound only. After the viewing, participants were asked how they felt toward the character and what they thought he was thinking and feeling, what kind of personality he could have, and whether they had seen another character in the video. Differently from previous works in the field, we used well-established and validated scales to measure the constructs at hand. Our results indicate that the soundtrack did not influence the attribution of emotions to the character, except for nostalgia, i.e., those who listened to Evans attributed more nostalgia to the main character. On the contrary, music deeply affected parasocial interactions: Evans group experienced more empathy toward the character; conversely, Rachmaninov group experienced more distress toward him. We also observed marginal effects on the attributed personality traits: Evans group made the participants attribute a more flexible and balanced personality. Lastly, by orienting subjects’ gazes and expectations, Rachmaninov disquieting piece created false memories: the participants in that condition more often reported seeing someone else in the scene, but they seldom guessed who/where this hidden camera operator was. Moreover, in an open question they claimed seeing items and animals which were not in the scene at all. We are currently working on an eye-tracking follow-up hypothesising that anxious music affected gaze patterns by widening fixations and saccades.
XVI AISC Annual Conference 2019 THE COMPLEXITY OF COGNITION: MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO HUMAN BEHAVIOUR / Ansani, Alessandro. - (2019). ((Intervento presentato al convegno XVI AISC Annual Conference 2019 THE COMPLEXITY OF COGNITION: MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO HUMAN BEHAVIOUR tenutosi a Rome; Italy.
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|Titolo:||XVI AISC Annual Conference 2019 THE COMPLEXITY OF COGNITION: MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO HUMAN BEHAVIOUR|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Citazione:||XVI AISC Annual Conference 2019 THE COMPLEXITY OF COGNITION: MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO HUMAN BEHAVIOUR / Ansani, Alessandro. - (2019). ((Intervento presentato al convegno XVI AISC Annual Conference 2019 THE COMPLEXITY OF COGNITION: MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO HUMAN BEHAVIOUR tenutosi a Rome; Italy.|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||14s Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|