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How Virtual Reality Offers a Different Perspective: An Approach to Stimulate Connectedness by Eliciting Awe

Wijk, Bas van (2021) How Virtual Reality Offers a Different Perspective: An Approach to Stimulate Connectedness by Eliciting Awe.

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Abstract:The global issue of social isolation leads people to experience a sense of being alone, which in turn increases one’s self-centredness. This thesis examines whether people who are exposed to either a natural or an urban scenery through virtual reality are more, or less, inclined to let go of their ‘self’ and focus more on the collective and whether the degree of their perspective-taking tendency influences that feeling. This study follows a between-subjects design and was conducted among 100 Dutch participants. To test the effects of awe, participants were exposed to either a natural or an urban scenery using a virtual reality headset. The results are based on analyses of variances and moderation analyses. Results showed that the natural, compared to the urban, scenery induced higher levels of self-diminishment and perceived small self, and awe is marginally increased. Additionally, marginally significant interaction effects indicate that awe (in terms of self-diminishment) is moderated by one’s perspective-taking tendencies. Moreover, results showed that the urban, compared to the natural, scenery induced higher levels of identity orientation. Implications for future research were discussed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86369
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