With 3D televisions expected to reach 50% home saturation as early as 2016, understanding the psychological
mechanisms underlying the user response to 3D technology is critical for content providers, educators and
academics. Unfortunately, research examining the effects of 3D technology has not kept pace with the technology’s
rapid adoption, resulting in large-scale use of a technology about which very little is actually known. Recognizing
this need for new research, we conducted a series of studies measuring and comparing many of the variables and
processes underlying both 2D and 3D media experiences. In our first study, we found narratives within primetime
dramas had the power to shift viewer attitudes in both 2D and 3D settings. However, we found no difference in
persuasive power between 2D and 3D content. We contend this lack of effect was the result of poor conversion
quality and the unique demands of 3D production. In our second study, we found 3D technology significantly
increased enjoyment when viewing sports content, yet offered no added enjoyment when viewing a movie trailer.
The enhanced enjoyment of the sports content was shown to be the result of heightened emotional arousal and
attention in the 3D condition. We believe the lack of effect found for the movie trailer may be genre-related. In our
final study, we found 3D technology significantly enhanced enjoyment of two video games from different genres.
The added enjoyment was found to be the result of an increased sense of presence.