The 180-degree rule is thought to help smooth the change between film shots. When two individuals are speaking to each other, there is an imaginary axis of action running between them. If the camera crosses this axis, it breaks the 180-degree rule. A violation of the 180-degree rule is thought to have negative effects on viewers’ enjoyment of films. The present study investigated this idea. Experiment 1 established that naive participants can detect violations in videos. Experiment 2 tested the putative negative effects of 180-degree rule violations. The results indicated that violations can confuse and disorient viewers. Critically, as revealed by Experiment 3, violations did not alter the viewers’ liking of a video: Viewers were as likely to prefer a video with a 180-degree violation as one without. Collectively, these data shed light on fundamental beliefs regarding the 180-degree rule, which may help inform filming decisions around film enjoyment.
Kachkovski, G., Vasilyev, D., Kuk, M., Kingstone, A., & Street, C. N. H. (2019). Exploring the effects of violating the 180-degree rule on film viewing preferences. Communication Research, 46(7), 948-964. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650219838959