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An experiment on fear of public speaking in virtual reality

Pertaub, DP; Slater, M; Barker, C; (2001) An experiment on fear of public speaking in virtual reality. In: Westwood, JD and Hoffman, HM and Mogel, GT and Stredney, D and Robb, RA, (eds.) MEDICINE MEETS VIRTUAL REALITY 2001: OUTER SPACE, INNER SPACE, VIRTUAL SPACE. (pp. 372 - 378). I O S PRESS

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Abstract

Can virtual reality exposure therapy be used to treat people with social phobia? To answer this question it is vital to know if people will respond to virtual humans (avatars) in a virtual social setting in the same way they would to real humans. If someone is extremely anxious with real people, will they also be anxious when faced with simulated people, despite knowing that the avatars are computer generated? In [17] we described a small pilot study that placed 10 people before a virtual audience. The purpose was to assess the extent to which social anxiety, specifically fear of public speaking, was induced by the virtual audience and the extent of influence of degree of immersion (head mounted display or desktop monitor. The current paper describes a follow up study conducted with 40 subjects and the results clearly show that not only is social anxiety induced by the audience, but the degree of anxiety experienced is directly related to the type of virtual audience feedback the speaker receives. In particular, a hostile negative audience scenario was found to generate strong affect in speakers, regardless of whether or not they normally suffered from fear of public speaking.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: An experiment on fear of public speaking in virtual reality
Event: Conference on Medicine Meets Virtual Reality 2001
Location: NEWPORT BEACH, CA
Dates: 2001-01-24 - 2001-01-27
ISBN: 1-58603-143-0
Keywords: GRADED EXPOSURE, ACROPHOBIA
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/129961
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