Art and Perception

Perception while watching movies: Effects of physical screen size and scene type

Tom Troscianko

School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, 12a Priory Rd, Bristol BS8 1TU, UK

Timothy S. Meese

School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

t.s.meese@aston.ac.uk

Stephen Hinde

School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, 12a Priory Rd, Bristol BS8 1TU, UK

stephen.hinde.06@bristol.ac.uk

   

Abstract. Over the last decade, television screens and display monitors have increased in size considerably, but has this improved our televisual experience? Our working hypothesis was that the audiences adopt a general strategy that “bigger is better.” However, as our visual perceptions do not tap directly into basic retinal image properties such as retinal image size (C. A. Burbeck, 1987), we wondered whether object size itself might be an important factor. To test this, we needed a task that would tap into the subjective experiences of participants watching a movie on different-sized displays with the same retinal subtense. Our participants used a line bisection task to self-report their level of “presence” (i.e., their involvement with the movie) at several target locations that were probed in a 45-min section of the movie “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Measures of pupil dilation and reaction time to the probes were also obtained. In Experiment 1, we found that subjective ratings of presence increased with physical screen size, supporting our hypothesis. Face scenes also produced higher presence scores than landscape scenes for both screen sizes. In Experiment 2, reaction time and pupil dilation results showed the same trends as the presence ratings and pupil dilation correlated with presence ratings, providing some validation of the method. Overall, the results suggest that real-time measures of subjective presence might be a valuable tool for measuring audience experience for different types of (i) display and (ii) audiovisual material.


Cite as: Troscianko T, Meese T S, Hinde S, 2012, "Perception while watching movies: Effects of physical screen size and scene type" i-Perception 3(7) 414–425; doi:10.1068/i0475aap
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DOI: 10.1068/i0475aap

ISSN: 2041-6695 (electronic only)

Copyright: Copyright is retained by the author(s) of this article. This open-access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Licence, which permits noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction, provided the original author(s) and source are credited and no alterations are made.
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