The world we live in these days is full of virtual meetings and video chats. While there are definitely negatives to the absence of real world contact, there may be situations where it’s actually beneficial.
A recent study at Edith Cowan University in Australia suggests that VR therapy with realistic avatars may be more effective for some people than traditional in-person therapy.
Shane Rogers, PhD and lead author of the study, stated that fifty-two undergraduate psychology students from 18 to 53 years old rated their experiences communicating with an avatar driven by another person wearing motion capture technology.
They engaged in casual getting-to-know-you conversations and were interviewed about positive and negative experiences.
The researchers compared the avatar conversations to face-to-face conversations and found that about 30% of participants felt more comfortable disclosing negative experiences in virtual reality compared to face-to-face.
“This indicates that for a substantial proportion of people, this mode of communication might be quite useful for psychological therapy,” Rogers said. “We are currently doing more research to further investigate that.”
What do you think? Would it be easier for you to express yourself in a virtual environment?
For more information check out this story from PsychCentral, https://psychcentral.com/news/virtual-reality-could-help-make-therapy-easier#How-does-virtual-reality-therapy-work?
Link to the full study: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frvir.2021.750729/full