University of Twente Student Theses


Mystery and spaciousness and their effect on valence and level of engagement of stories in the context of virtual nature images

Nickisch, L.N. (2022) Mystery and spaciousness and their effect on valence and level of engagement of stories in the context of virtual nature images.

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Abstract:Background: As a result of a demographic shift, age-related problems like loneliness are becoming more prevalent. Previous research indicates that virtual natural environments and the manipulation of their components mystery and spaciousness can help to reduce loneliness by facilitating conversation and telling ones personal experience and associations. Aim: This study analyses whether mystery and spaciousness affect the valence and level of engagement of the stories older adults have towards virtual nature imagery. Moreover, it will be analysed if valence and level of engagement are correlated. Methods: A mixed-methods approach has been used to collect and analyse the stories and associations of 15 older adults over the age of 65, who were living in Germany. Manipulation of mystery and spaciousness resulted in four different virtual nature scenes as a form of stimuli to collect data. A deductive and inductive approach was used to code the dependent variables of valence and level of engagement that were both on an ordinal scale. Results: While there was no significant difference in terms of level of engagement for the scenes, a significant difference in regards to valence was found when comparing all scenes (p < .01). It has also been shown, that scenes with low spaciousness and low mystery result in significantly lower valence of stories than in comparison to scenes with high spaciousness and either low mystery (p < .01) or high mystery (p < .01). Furthermore, valence was not correlated to level of engagement (p = .12). Conclusion: The findings for level of engagement and whether valence and level of engagement are correlated were not in accordance with previous studies, while those of valence are debatable when compared to research in the past. However, the answers of the participants give assumption that other variables could be worthwhile to investigate in the future. Keywords: Virtual Nature, Mystery, Spaciousness, Valence, Level of Engagement, Storytelling
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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