Advertisement

Animal Cognition

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 365–372 | Cite as

Influence of theatre hall layout on actors’ and spectators’ emotions

  • A. LemassonEmail author
  • V. André
  • M. Boudard
  • D. Lippi
  • H. Cousillas
  • M. Hausberger
Original Paper

Abstract

“Audience effect” is the influence of an audience size or composition on the emotional state of a public speaker. One characteristic of the audience which has received little attention is the spatial position of observers. We tested the influence of three positions (frontal, bi-frontal, and quadri-frontal) on actors and spectators’ emotions in real theatrical representations. Measurements consisted in self-report questionnaires and galvanic skin responses. The layout of the theatre hall influenced both cognitive and physiological components of emotions. Actors were more influenced than spectators and showed an overall accuracy in self-perception. The quadri-frontal audience received the highest scores in actors’ feeling assessments and galvanic skin responses. In addition, we found a discrepancy between self-assessment of emotional states by spectators and how actors perceive them. Attention should thus be paid in the layout of performance places with obviously more attention from the public and better feelings for actors in more dispersed settings.

Keywords

Questionnaires Galvanic skin response Public speech Theatrical representations Audience effect 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the “Théâtre National de Bretagne” for allowing this research with their school of actors. We greatly appreciate the friendly participation of all actors as well as the master student Aurélie Carré. We are grateful to Christophe Lunel and to Antoine L’Azou for their help in the coordination of the project. We thank the cultural department of Rennes 1 University, in particular Marie-Aude Lefeuvre, for making the “Diapason” theatre available to run the experiments. We are grateful to Technicolor for having made available the galvanic Skin Response sensors used during this study. This study was funded by Rennes 1 University, via the “Défis émergent” incentive action and the Cultural service department, as well as by the “Fabrique Autonome des Acteurs” with the support of the Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso and the French ministry of culture.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed here were in accordance with our national ethical standards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments. Our study being only observational no further ethical authorization was requested according to the French law.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. André V, Jost C, Hausberger M, Le Pévédic B, Jubin R, Duhaut D, Lemasson A (2014) Ethorobotics applied to human behaviour: can animated objects influence children’s behaviour in cognitive tasks? Anim Behav 96:69–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arkin RM, Duval S (1975) Focus of attention and causal attributions of actors and observers. J Exp Soc Psychol 11(5):427–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Behnke RR, Beatty MJ (1981) A cognitive-physiological model of speech anxiety. Commun Monogr 48(2):158–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benedek M, Kaernbach C (2010) A continuous measure of phasic electrodermal activity. J Neurosci Methods 190(1):80–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bode DL, Brutten EJ (1963) A palmar sweat investigation of the effect of audience variation upon stage fright. Speech Monogr 30(2):92–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bodie GD (2010) A racing heart, rattling knees, and ruminative thoughts: defining, explaining, and treating public speaking anxiety. Commun Educ 59(1):70–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bond CF, Titus LJ (1983) Social facilitation: a meta-analysis of 241 studies. Psychol Bull 94(2):265–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boucsein W (2012) Electrodermal activity. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown JD (1986) Evaluations of self and others: self-enhancement biases in social judgments. Soc Cognit 4(4):353–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carver CS, Scheier MF (1978) Self-focusing effects of dispositional self-consciousness, mirror presence, and audience presence. J Personal Soc Psychol 36(3):324–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chevrolet D, Le Calve G (1975) Influence de la présence et de la position d’un observateur sur le comportement scolaire d’élèves de l’enseignement élémentaire. Revue française de pédagogie 31:16–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark MS, Milberg S, Erber R (1984) Effects of arousal on judgments of others’ emotions. J Personal Soc Psychol 46(3):551–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cohen JL, Davis JH (1973) Effects of audience status, evaluation, and time of action on performance with hidden-word problems. J Personal Soc Psychol 27(1):74–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Currie FG (1956) Arena staging on a shoestring. Speech Teach 5(4):290–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Detweiler-Bedell B, Detweiler-Bedell J, Salovey P (2006) Mood-congruent perceptions of success depend on self-other framing. Cogn Emot 20(2):196–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fenz WD, Jones BG (1972) Individual differences in physiologic arousal and performance in sport parachutists. Psychosom Med 34(1):1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Figner B, Murphy RO (2011) Using skin conductance in judgment and decision making research. In: Schulte-Mecklenbeck M, Küehberger A, Ranyard R (eds) A handbook of process tracing methods for decision research: a critical review and user’s guide. Psychology Press, New York, pp 163–184Google Scholar
  18. Furbay AL (1965) The influence of scattered versus compact seating on audience response. Speech Monogr 32(2):144–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grapperon J, Pignol A-C, Vion-Dury J (2012) La mesure de la réaction électrodermale. L’Encéphale 38(2):149–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kelly O, Matheson K, Martinez A, Merali Z, Anisman H (2007) Psychosocial stress evoked by a virtual audience: relation to neuroendocrine activity. Cyberpsychol Behav 10(5):655–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lemasson A, André V, Boudard M, Lippi D, Hausberger M (2018) Audience size influences actors’ anxiety and associated postures on stage. Behav Proc 157:225–229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nakagawa S (2004) A farewell to Bonferroni: the problems of low statistical power and publication bias. Behav Ecol 15(6):1044–1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ochsner KN, Knierim K, Ludlow DH, Hanelin J, Ramachandran T, Glover G, Mackey SC (2004) Reflecting upon feelings: an fMRI study of neural systems supporting the attribution of emotion to self and other. J Cogn Neurosci 16(10):1746–1772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Prieur J, Pika S, Barbu S, Blois-Heulin C (2016) A multifactorial investigation of captive chimpanzees’ intraspecific gestural laterality. Anim Behav 116:3143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rosenthal R, Rosnow RL (1991) Essentials of behavioral research methods and data analysis, 2nd edn. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Ryan C, Andrews N (2009) An investigation into the choral singer’s experience of music performance anxiety. J Res Music Educ 57(2):108–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Salovey P, Grewal D (2005) The science of emotional intelligence. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 14(6):281–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schmidt S, Walach H (2000) Electrodermal activity (Eda): state-of-the-art measurement and techniques for parapsychological purposes. J Parapsychol 64(2):139–163Google Scholar
  29. Venables PH, Christie MJ (1980) Electrodermal activity. Tech Psychophysiol 54(3):3–67Google Scholar
  30. Zajonc RB (1967) Psychologie sociale expérimentale. Dunod, ParisGoogle Scholar
  31. Zuberbühler K (2008) Audience effects. Curr Biol 18(5):189–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Lemasson
    • 1
    Email author
  • V. André
    • 1
  • M. Boudard
    • 1
  • D. Lippi
    • 2
  • H. Cousillas
    • 1
  • M. Hausberger
    • 3
  1. 1.Univ Rennes, Normandie Univ, CNRS, EthoS (Ethologie animale et humaine), UMR 6552RennesFrance
  2. 2.Fabrique Autonome des ActeursMousseyFrance
  3. 3.CNRS, Univ Rennes, Normandie Univ, EthoS (Ethologie animale et humaine), UMR 6552PaimpontFrance

Personalised recommendations