A new set of standardised verbal and non-verbal contemporary film stimuli for the elicitation of emotions

Lisanne M. Jenkins*, David G. Andrewes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This study responded to a need for an updated set of film clips for the elicitation of emotion. Previous such stimuli are not only dated, but are limited in that they have been validated using participants from a narrow age range, which is problematic given conflicting reports regarding age differences in self-reported emotion elicited in a laboratory setting. The present study aimed to develop a new film stimulus set standardised on a wide age range of participants, while investigating age differences in self-reported emotion in response to film clips. An ancillary aim was to standardise film clips that were with and without dialogue. Two researchers composed a shortlist of 60 clips that were chosen to elicit six target emotions of amusement, anger, disgust, fear, happiness and sadness, as well as a neutral state. Each of the 109 participants (55 males, 54 females), aged between 18 and 88 years (M = 44.94) viewed all 60 clips. Self-reported emotional experience was measured using a computerised Visual Analogue Scale. Age differences were observed whereby participants aged 46-88 reported more intense positive and negative emotions in response to film clips than participants aged 18-45. Consistent with previous research, difficulties were found in eliciting the target emotion of anger. A success index was calculated for each film that took into consideration the mean rating on the target emotion and the degree to which the film elicited only the target emotion. We present a list of film clips recommended for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-227
Number of pages16
JournalBrain Impairment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • age
  • emotion
  • films
  • non-verbal
  • standardisation
  • verbal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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