Caption This: Distraction Negative Emotions

Publication Date

April 2019


Charles Sanislow




English (United States)


The educational impact of having captions or not having captions present in visual stimuli have been studied in hearing impaired individuals, and the initial intent of the present study was to understand the relation of captions and emotional-eliciting film clips within the hearing-impaired community. An initial pilot study to compare captioning and emotion elicitation comparison was among hearing undergraduate students. The use of segmented film clips – their emotional scenes – as visual stimuli in order to elicit certain emotions offers many advantageous observations and a chance to measure a participant’s level of arousal, whereas using just surveys with hypothetical-emotional-eliciting situations would not have the same impact. A question of interest is whether captions might serve as a healthy distraction from negative emotional material, thereby positively impacting their mood. Specifically, I predict that emotional reactions will be dampened when captions are present. The results suggest that majority of the high scores on the clinical scales are correlated with whether a film clip contains captions or no captions. In addition, results suggest that there is a preference in brain hemispheres in regard to the presence of captions in a film clip.

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