Studying social interactions through immersive virtual environment technology: Virtues, pitfalls, and future challenges

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_07C2040524E9
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Studying social interactions through immersive virtual environment technology: Virtues, pitfalls, and future challenges
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Author(s)
Bombari D., Schmid Mast M., Cañadas E., Bachmann M.
ISSN
1664-1078
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2015
Volume
6
Number
869
Pages
NA
Language
english
Abstract
The goal of the present review is to explain how immersive virtual environment technology (IVET) can be used for the study of social interactions and how the use of virtual humans in immersive virtual environments can advance research and application in many different fields. Researchers studying individual differences in social interactions are typically interested in keeping the behavior and the appearance of the interaction partner constant across participants. With IVET researchers have full control over the interaction partners, can standardize them while still keeping the simulation realistic. Virtual simulations are valid: growing evidence shows that indeed studies conducted with IVET can replicate some well-known findings of social psychology. Moreover, IVET allows researchers to subtly manipulate characteristics of the environment (e.g., visual cues to prime participants) or of the social partner (e.g., his/her race) to investigate their influences on participants' behavior and cognition. Furthermore, manipulations that would be difficult or impossible in real life (e.g., changing participants' height) can be easily obtained with IVET. Beside the advantages for theoretical research, we explore the most recent training and clinical applications of IVET, its integration with other technologies (e.g., social sensing) and future challenges for researchers (e.g., making the communication between virtual humans and participants smoother).
Keywords
Social interaction, Immersive virtual environment, Virtual humans, Avatars, Copresence
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
14/10/2015 15:12
Last modification date
20/08/2019 13:30
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