VR Helps Psychologists Explore Human Behaviors

VR Helps Psychologists Explore Human Behaviors
October 12, 2016

Photo credit: Playmouth University trolley dilemma research in VR
Virtual reality helps psychologists to explore human behaviors
Virtual reality can be a valuable tool for studying human behaviors than the traditional methods, a new research by Playmouth University, School of Psychology claims.
Testing the famous trolley dilemma in a VR headset, researchers found that people are more likely to sacrifice the life of a person in order to save many others when they are immersed in virtual reality.
In the research scenario, participants stand on a footbridge where they have to decide whether they want to push a large person off the bridge to stop a trolley car’s progress or to allow the trolley car to continue and kill the five people standing on the tracks.
The research concludes that “Virtual Reality methods deliver new prospects for investigating and assessing moral behavior. VR technology allows to investigate personal moral dilemmas with greater ecological validity than traditional paradigms.”
New research ways on a classic debate
In another research back in 2011, a team from Michigan State University’s psychology department has also used virtual-reality technology to test how we respond with trolley dilemma in VR. The team found that those who were more emotionally aroused during the simulation — based on measurements of electrical conductivity along the skin — were less likely to sacrifice one.

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