University of Twente Student Theses


Influence of mindfulness practices on feelings of place illusion in virtual reality

Almkerk, Marc van (2018) Influence of mindfulness practices on feelings of place illusion in virtual reality.

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Abstract:This study investigates how mindfulness influences feelings of place illusion in Virtual Reality (VR) experiences, i.e. the feeling of being inside the mediated world that is displayed through the VR technology. To research the effects, a design called Mindsition was proposed that consists of two Virtual Environments (VEs). The VEs transfer the user from the physical world to a task environment in VR, and alters the user’s state of mind. In the first VE, a guided meditation exercise was introduced to bring the user to a more mindful state, changing how the mediated world was perceived. The user was then brought to the task environment to complete a task. The design was evaluated using a betweensubjects experimental design in which half of the participants were exposed to the entire experience, while the other half only experienced the task environment. Results are inconclusive, but revealed tentative evidence that Mindsition does increase feelings of place illusion, as participants felt more captivated by the environment and had a stronger overall feeling of ’being inside’ the VE. However, the results also show that Mindsition compromises reality judgement, i.e. how veritable the environment felt, as participants were more aware that the virtual world co-existed with the physical world. Overall, the study suggests that mindfulness has the potential to make users more observant about various aspects of the VE, and place less attention on the fact that the environment is perceived through a screen, making memories about the VR experience more vivid. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to place illusion as well as mindfulness, and directions are given for future research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science, 77 psychology
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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