Scientists Can Tell if You’re Watching A Romantic-Comedy Movie by Investigating Your Breath!


Scientists at Max Planck Institute Germany published a breathtaking research on moviegoers' emotions by examining the chemical substances from exhaled breath released in the air.

Moviegoers exhaled different chemicals based on the film genres

A team of scientists in German conducted a large scale of research, analyzing chemical patterns of the 9,500 participants - the moviegoers - while they were watching 16 different movies in two Germany theaters.

The scientists installed a device that technically identified the isoprene, carbon dioxide and other components from the viewers' exhaled breath. Then, the reactions of these moviegoers were recorded scene-by-scene, Science News reported.

The chemical patterns are then categorized by the emotions such as crying, laughing, or suspense. The exhaled breaths release chemical compounds in the air and researchers are looking for any association between substances and scenes.

The movies played at the theaters included "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire", "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and also "The Hobbit". Lead author and professor, Jonathan Williams, explained that the chemical patterns exhaled while watching "The Hunger Games" clearly identified that there were suspense scenes going on, because CO2 and isoprene were emitted consistently, even when they tested to a different group of viewers. Describing it as 'chemical signature', both compounds level were high in a scene where Katniss Everdeen battled to survive.

The scientists claimed that the statistical results enabled them to identify whether a movie is scary or funny. The clearest chemical patterns were seen in comedy and suspenseful scenes. The air composition changed whenever a different genre was played.

What does the study on exhaled breath suggest?

The exhaled breath that contains certain chemical compounds released in the air can determine human metabolism, Science Updates reported.

Scientists are now analyzing the chemical traces of moviegoers exhaled breath during "Star Wars". More data is needed to determine the association, including examining the body temperature, heart rate and physiological condition. 

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