University of Twente Student Theses


Virtual Reality : a useful medium to reduce stress?

Spoeskes, Jan (2016) Virtual Reality : a useful medium to reduce stress?

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Abstract:Stress is a response that affects many people's lives by being closely linked to physiological and psychological well-being. In the last decade, a technology called Virtual Reality gained massive popularity. The aim of this paper is to explore if the exposure to a Virtual Reality environment effectively reduces stress in a sample of 80 participants. The effectiveness of the VR environment was examined by measuring the level of stress and arousal among participants, which was assessed by using a translated short-version of the Stress Arousal Checklist, developed by Mackay and colleagues (Mackay, Cox, Burrows, Lazerini 1978). The VR environment included a tropical beach setting, soothing audio and a meditation exercise. To prove the effectiveness of VR in reducing stress, data was compared to a control group that followed the meditation via headphones only. Results show that participants felt more tired and less energetic after the treatment. Moreover they reported a reduction of stress and higher states of relaxation. However, groups did not differ on their scores on all subscales and no interaction between time and condition could be found. A one-session VR stress therapy seemed to have no beneficial advantage over an audio-only meditation exercise.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 76 recreation, leisure, 77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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