According to researchers at the University of Utah, there is no significant difference in emotional reactions between the two formats.
The study aimed to validate the effectiveness of 3D films, a newer technology, as compared to 2D ones, which are widely used currently as a research tool.
“The results suggest that as an entertainment medium, 3D may not provide a different experience from 2D, insofar as evoking emotional responses go,” said lead study author Sheila Crowell, an assistant professor of psychology.
To reach this conclusion, researchers looked at several measures of emotional state in 408 people, including palm sweat, breathing and cardio-vascular responses, such as heart rate.
The participants viewed 3D and 2D clips of approximately five minutes of the films “My Bloody Valentine” (fear), “Despicable Me” (amusement), “Tangled” (sadness) and “The Polar Express” (thrill).
Researchers found that both 2D and 3D were equally effective at eliciting emotional responses and the expenses involved in producing 3D films do not create much more than novelty.
“This could be good news for people who would rather not wear 3D glasses or pay the extra money to see these types of films,” Crowell noted.
Our findings should also be encouraging to researchers who cannot now afford 3D technologies, she concluded in a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE.