Mild stress stimuli built into a non-immersive virtual environment can elicit actual stress responses (2017)
AuthorsAlghamdi M, Regenbrecht H, Hoermann S, Swain Nshow all
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The experience of Virtual Reality (VR) can lead to unwanted or wanted psychological stress reactions. Highly immersive VR games for instance utilise extreme, life-threatening, or dangerous situations to achieve those responses from their players. There is also sufficient evidence that in clinical settings and specific situations, such as fear of heights or post-traumatic stress, virtual stimuli can lead to perceived stress for clients. However, there is a gap in research targeting everyday, mild emotional stimuli, which are neither extreme nor specific and which are not presented in an immersive system. To what extent can common stimuli in a non-immersive virtual environment elicit actual stress reactions for its users? We developed a desktop VR system and evaluated it in a study with 54 participants. We could show that virtual stimuli in a common, domestic family environment led to a significant increase in perceived stress as measured by quantitative (self-reports) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews analysed with a General Inductive Approach (GIA)) responses. The results also showed that the introduction of virtual stimuli induced significantly higher levels of perceived workload and sense of presence and led to different physiological reactions. These findings have implications for the design and implementation of non-immersive VR systems.
CitationAlghamdi M, Regenbrecht H, Hoermann S, Swain N (2017). Mild stress stimuli built into a non-immersive virtual environment can elicit actual stress responses. Behaviour and Information Technology. 36(9). 913-934.
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KeywordsVirtual Reality; stress; virtual stimuli; exposure; sense of presence
ANZSRC Fields of Research46 - Information and computing sciences::4607 - Graphics, augmented reality and games::460708 - Virtual and mixed reality
52 - Psychology::5204 - Cognitive and computational psychology::520406 - Sensory processes, perception and performance