Gimmick or Game-Changer? Closed- and Open-Ended Content Analyses Examining Individual Qualities and Personality Traits Associated with Selective Exposure to and Enjoyment of 3D Film

Date
2017
Authors
OBrien, Erin
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Abstract

The three-dimensional stereoscopic (3D) film has fallen in and out of favor in Hollywood several times over the years: first in the 1950s, then in the 1980s, and most recently in the 2000s and early 2010s. In all cases, the trend has experienced a surge in profits and popularity, followed by a fairly sudden abatement. To explore the latest rise and fall of 3D, the present study used a self-reporting survey featuring both closed- and open-ended questions to examine personality traits that may be associated with selective exposure to and enjoyment of 3D film, following a Uses & Gratifications approach. Five hypotheses were tested, holding that individuals who prefer 3D would be low in need for cognition, high in need for escape, high in need for diversion, male, and extroverts. None of these hypotheses were supported, as the vast majority of participants across all personality and demographic categories did not report a preference for 3D. However, upon further testing, a few interesting relationships were identified. These findings were enhanced by two open-ended questions about film-viewing preferences, which provided further details regarding audience opinions on 3D. Generally, individuals reported a preference for 2D because of the drawbacks traditionally associated with 3D, including physical discomfort and higher cost. Although unexpected, these results may be useful when considered as an updated look at audience preferences and priorities associated with the film-viewing and theater-going experiences.

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Keywords
3D film, audience preferences, content analysis, movies, personality traits, uses and gratifications theory
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Department
Communication