Affective responses to dance

Christensen, J. F., Pollick, F. E. , Lambrechts, A. and Gomila, A. (2016) Affective responses to dance. Acta Psychologica, 168, pp. 91-105. (doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.03.008) (PMID:27235953)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


The objective of the present work was the characterization of mechanisms by which affective experiences are elicited in observers when watching dance movements. A total of 203 dance stimuli from a normed stimuli library were used in a series of independent experiments. The following measures were obtained: (i) subjective measures of 97 dance-naïve participants' affective responses (Likert scale ratings, interviews); and (ii) objective measures of the physical parameters of the stimuli (motion energy, luminance), and of the movements represented in the stimuli (roundedness, impressiveness). Results showed that (i) participants' ratings of felt and perceived affect differed, (ii) felt and perceived valence but not arousal ratings correlated with physical parameters of the stimuli (motion energy and luminance), (iii) roundedness in posture shape was related to the experience of more positive emotion than edgy shapes (1 of 3 assessed rounded shapes showed a clear effect on positiveness ratings while a second reached trend level significance), (iv) more impressive movements resulted in more positive affective responses, (v) dance triggered affective experiences through the imagery and autobiographical memories it elicited in some people, and (vi) the physical parameters of the video stimuli correlated only weakly and negatively with the aesthetics ratings of beauty, liking and interest. The novelty of the present approach was twofold; (i) the assessment of multiple affect-inducing mechanisms, and (ii) the use of one single normed stimulus set. The results from this approach lend support to both previous and present findings. Results are discussed with regards to current literature in the field of empirical aesthetics and affective neuroscience.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:JFC was funded by a Newton International Fellowship of the British Academy (NF140935), and a PhD studentship AP2009-2889 by the Spanish Ministry of Education. JFC and TG were funded by the project FFI2010-20759 of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. FEP was funded by the project FFI2013-44007-p with a travel grant to the University of the Balearic Islands.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pollick, Professor Frank
Authors: Christensen, J. F., Pollick, F. E., Lambrechts, A., and Gomila, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Acta Psychologica
ISSN (Online):1873-6297
Published Online:25 May 2016

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record