University of Twente Student Theses


Van Visualisatie naar Virtual Reality : de effectiviteit van Virtual Reality als positief affectief medium.

Wrede, C. (2016) Van Visualisatie naar Virtual Reality : de effectiviteit van Virtual Reality als positief affectief medium.

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Abstract:Background: The two influential disciplines of Positive Psychology and Technology have recently been combined into the field of Positive Technology, which is concerned with the use of technology to promote positive emotional states in order to increase well-being and generating resilience in individuals. One young technical approach that could be used for this purpose is Virtual Reality (VR) which has already found it´s applicability in psychological treatments like exposure-therapy. However, the recent literature still contains little information about the usefulness of VR to increase well-being. Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of using VR for the induction of positive emotional states to ultimately gain more insight into new possibilities for positive psychological interventions by means of VR. Method: Following a between-subjects pre-post measure design, 30 subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental condition that consisted of a 15-min session in which participants were exposed to a virtual environment designed to induce a positive emotional state and at the same time listened to a guided meditation, or an audio-only control condition in which participants exclusively listened to the guided meditation while using their own imagination. Emotions were assessed before and after the session using the modified Differential Emotions Scale (mDES). Results: Overall, results showed a significant increase of positive emotions and a significant decrease of negative emotions over time for both conditions. However, there was no difference between experimental and control condition on positive emotions over time. On the other hand, the analysis showed that participants in the experimental condition reported a significantly greater reduction of negative emotions over time than participants in the control condition. The between-subjects effect size was large. Conclusion: In line with previous research, the study demonstrated that the use of Virtual Reality was successful in inducing a positive emotional state in participants. However, the beneficial value of VR seemed to be limited to the reduction of negative emotions which emphasizes the potential of VR to be used as an effective medium able to reduce negative emotions in a broad public. For future research it is suggested to conduct multiple VR-sessions to analyze the efficacy of repeated emotion inductions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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