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Social anxiety in virtual environments: Results of a pilot study

James, LK; Lin, CY; Steed, A; Swapp, D; Slater, M; (2003) Social anxiety in virtual environments: Results of a pilot study. CYBERPSYCHOLOGY & BEHAVIOR , 6 (3) 237 - 243.

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Abstract

This paper reports on a pilot study of the extent to which social anxiety can be generated within a virtual environment. Ten subjects were exposed to a virtual reality experience depicting a London underground train and also a wine bar. The first provided a social setting with virtual characters (avatars) that had relatively neutral behaviors towards the subject, and the second was more socially demanding-with subjects required to interact with relatively disinterested avatars. The purpose was to assess whether social anxiety would be greater for the wine bar experience than the train journey experience, taking into account prior tendencies to social anxiety, and the order of presentation. The results suggest that social anxiety was higher for the wine bar experience, but lower for the second exposure.

Type:Article
Title:Social anxiety in virtual environments: Results of a pilot study
Location:SAN DIEGO, CA
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Computer Science

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