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Implicit and explicit responses of primary school children on murals in a hospital setting : A VR study

Beernink, S.M. (2017) Implicit and explicit responses of primary school children on murals in a hospital setting : A VR study.

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Abstract:Being hospitalized triggers the onset of negative feelings like fear and anxiety and is associated with negative health outcomes. Healing environments, who take the psychological needs of patients into consideration, can positively influence patient outcomes. The Anouk Foundation has developed murals for paediatric hospitals to enhance the physical environment. Existing literature shows that displaying nature has a healing effect on patients, which was found in implicit responses as well as in explicit responses. Therefore, this paper intends to explore the differences of implicit and explicit responses regarding a nature-like mural developed by the Anouk Foundation versus a neutral mural. The features of the murals that might account for these possible differences are of further interest. This is an exploratory study and for the assessment, a mixed method study design has been implemented at a primary school in Enschede with 23 children between the age of eight to eleven. The participants were divided in two condition, one condition was exposed to a nature-like mural and the other condition was exposed to a mural showing sports. They were exposed to it in a virtual hospital room, displayed by a VR headset. A free association task, a word stem completion task and an interview were used as measurement tools to assess the implicit and explicit responses of the children. Results indicate that the murals were both perceived positively and some small differences indicate that the nature-like mural indeed has restorative effects. Although these were not consistent and mostly found in implicit responses. Explicit responses show that the sports mural works out better for children. With regard to future research it is suggested to diminish the side effects of the VR technology, combining implicit and explicit responses more carefully or not at all and select murals on more contrasting features.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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