This article is part of the Research Topic Interval Timing and Time-Based Decision Making

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Integr. Neurosci., 09 August 2011 |

Emotion and time perception: effects of film-induced mood

Sylvie Droit-Volet1*, Sophie L. Fayolle1 and Sandrine Gil2
  • 1 Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et Cognitive, CNRS, UMR 6024, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France
  • 2 Centre de Recherche sur la Cognition et l’Apprentissage, CNRS, UMR 6234, University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France

Previous research into emotion and time perception has been designed to study the time perception of emotional events themselves (e.g., facial expression). Our aim was to investigate the effect of emotions per se on the subsequent time judgment of a neutral, non-affective event. In the present study, the participants were presented with films inducing a specific mood and were subsequently given a temporal bisection task. More precisely, the participants were given two temporal bisection tasks, one before and the other after viewing the emotional film. Three emotional films were tested: one eliciting fear, another sadness, and a neutral control film. In addition, the direct mood experience was assessed using the Brief Mood Introspective Scale that was administered to the participants at the beginning and the end of the session. The results showed that the perception of time did not change after viewing either the neutral control films or the sad films although the participants reported being sadder and less aroused after than before watching the sad film clips. In contrast, the stimulus durations were judged longer after than before viewing the frightening films that were judged to increase the emotion of fear and arousal level. In combination with findings from previous studies, our data suggest that the selective lengthening effect after watching frightening films was mediated by an effect of arousal on the speed of the internal clock system.

Keywords: time perception, timing, emotion, mood, fear, sadness

Citation: Droit-Volet S, Fayolle SL and Gil S (2011) Emotion and time perception: effects of film-induced mood. Front. Integr. Neurosci. 5:33. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2011.00033

Received: 30 May 2011; Paper pending published: 16 June 2011;
Accepted: 22 July 2011; Published online: 09 August 2011.

Edited by:

Valerie Doyere, CNRS, France

Reviewed by:

Ullrich Wagner, Charité - University Medicine Berlin, Germany
Jason Tipples, University of Hull, UK

Copyright: © 2011 Droit-Volet, Fayolle and Gil. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: Sylvie Droit-Volet, Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et Cognitive, CNRS, UMR 6024, Université Blaise Pascal, 34 Avenue Carnot, 63037 Clermont-Ferrand, France. e-mail: