Virtual reality and 360° panorama technology: a media comparison to study changes in sense of presence, anxiety, and positive emotions

Eleonora Brivio, Silvia Serino, Erica Negro Cousa, Andrea Zini, Giuseppe Riva, Gianluca De Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recently, 360° panorama technologies have been used to create videos and pictures of real and virtual environments, thus opening new possibilities for psychological research. The aim of this study is to compare a 360° real panorama environment to a computer-simulated one to verify if they are equally efficient in generating sense of presence, emotions, and relaxation in individuals. The study employs a 3 × 2 mixed factorial design. Forty participants took part in the study and were assessed on self-reported anxiety and mood levels before and during the virtual reality (VR) experience of a relaxing video in computer graphics or shot in 360°. After the experience, sense of presence and experience ratings were also collected. Heart rate data during the experience were also used. Both inferential and Bayesian analyses showed a lack of effect of the manipulation: there is no difference between a 360° panorama environment and a simulated environment in generating sense of presence, anxiety reduction, and in improving emotional states. These results highlight the feasibility of using a 360° real panorama VR if the participants’ task is passive and requires no active exploration of the environment, as the development of the 360° video is easier and cheaper than the one required by a computer-simulated environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVirtual Reality
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • 360° Technology
  • Anxiety
  • Case comparison
  • Computer-simulated environment
  • Mood
  • Sense of presence
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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