Movie editing influences spectators' time perception


Filmmakers use different techniques (e.g., camera movements, editing) to shape viewers’ experience. In particular, editing can be used to handle the temporal unfolding of events represented in a movie. Nevertheless, little is known about how different editing types impact viewers’ time perception. In an exploratory on-line study (90 participants) and a pre-registered conceptual replication study (60 participants), we asked participants to judge (Study 1) or reproduce (Study 2) the duration of 45 excerpts of the movie “Le Ballon Rouge” containing either continuous editing, action discontinuity editing or no editing. Each excerpt was formatted in three durations (2000, 2500 or 3000 ms). In both studies, we reported that scenes containing continuous editing were perceived as longer than the other two scene types. Moreover, scenes containing action discontinuity editing were perceived as longer than scenes with no editing. This study contributes to the emerging field of psycho-cinematics which could ultimately develop the dialog between arts and science.

Scientific Reports
Dominique Makowski
Dominique Makowski
Lecturer in Psychology

Trained as neuropsychologist, I am currently working as a lecturer at the University of Sussex, on the neuroscience of the perception of reality and how it relates to who we are.