Abstract :

Virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) applications use high levels of fidelity in order to produce high levels of presence and thereby elicit an emotional response for the user (like fear for phobia treatment). State of research shows mixed results for the correlation between anxiety and presence in virtual reality exposure, with differing results depending on specific anxiety disorders. A positive correlation for anxiety and presence for social anxiety disorder is not proven up to now. One reason might be that plausibility of the simulation, namely including key triggers for social anxiety (for example verbal and non-verbal behavior of virtual agents that reflects potentially negative human evaluation) might not be acknowledged in current presence questionnaires. A German scale for measuring co-presence and social presence for virtual reality (VR) fear of public speaking scenarios was developed based on a translation and adaption of existing co-presence and social presence questionnaires. A sample of N = 151 students rated co-presence and social presence after using a fear of public speaking application. Four correlated factors were derived by item- and principle axis factor analysis (Promax rotation), representing the presenter’s reaction to virtual agents, the reactions of the virtual agents as perceived by the presenter, impression of interaction possibilities, and (co-)presence of other people in the virtual environment. The scale developed can be used as a starting point for future research and test construction for VR applications with a social context.

Auteurs : Poeschl S, Doering N

Lien vers l’article : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26799880