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Why and how to use virtual reality to study human social interaction: The challenges of exploring a new research landscape

Pan, X; Hamilton, AFDC; (2018) Why and how to use virtual reality to study human social interaction: The challenges of exploring a new research landscape. British Journal of Psychology , 109 (3) pp. 395-417. 10.1111/bjop.12290. Green open access

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Abstract

As virtual reality (VR) technology and systems become more commercially available and accessible, more and more psychologists are starting to integrate VR as part of their methods. This approach offers major advantages in experimental control, reproducibility, and ecological validity, but also has limitations and hidden pitfalls which may distract the novice user. This study aimed to guide the psychologist into the novel world of VR, reviewing available instrumentation and mapping the landscape of possible systems. We use examples of state-of-the-art research to describe challenges which research is now solving, including embodiment, uncanny valley, simulation sickness, presence, ethics, and experimental design. Finally, we propose that the biggest challenge for the field would be to build a fully interactive virtual human who can pass a VR Turing test - and that this could only be achieved if psychologists, VR technologists, and AI researchers work together.

Type: Article
Title: Why and how to use virtual reality to study human social interaction: The challenges of exploring a new research landscape
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/bjop.12290
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12290
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/ 4.0/deed.en.
Keywords: Psychology, social interaction, virtual humans, virtual reality
UCL classification: UCL
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 > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045437
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