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As humans live and breathe, we let off a variety of different gasses, smells, and microbes. Nearly everyone is familiar with the concept of pheromones, but are you aware that the gasses which your body emits can also reveal what sort of mood you are in? A recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports proves just that. Researchers hooked up a mass spectrometer to the outgoing air vents of a movie theater to measure exactly what chemicals an audience emitted while being shown one of 16 different films. The films were chosen specifically for the different emotional content included, such as Buddy and suspense thriller Carrie. All in all, there were 108 showings and over nine thousand participants.
The researchers discovered that when comparing data between different audiences watching the same movie, which the type and amount of gasses off-put were very similar and coincided with key scenes from the movie. In fact, the results were so accurate that the researchers could predict what would happen to the composition of the theater air when an individual scene played. When they tagged each movie as a particular genre, there was a clear connection between the emotional content of a scene and the chemicals on the breath of the audience. Surprisingly enough, the two strongest correlations were at opposite ends of the spectrum: comedy and suspense.
Perhaps it will not be long until movie executives are using this technique to pre-screen their films, reading the chemicals in the air to tell how funny or scary their movie is.