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Psychophysiological responses to a Virtual Reality scenario for the treatment of Social Anxiety
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5403-0091
Univ Lisbon, Portugal.
Univ Lisbon, Portugal.
Catholic Univ Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal.
2016 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Virtual Reality systems have been proved to be a valuable tool in the exposure treatment of different anxiety disorders. Virtual Spectators is an application created to be used by therapists in the treatment of social anxiety. The application allows the therapist to manipulate the difficulty of the task during the therapy session. The aim of the present study was to test the emotional impact of the application in non-clinical participants with different levels of social anxiety, by measuring Heart-Rate, Skin Conductance Responses and the Startle Reflex. Participants had to read two different texts (one easier and another more difficult) in front of a panel with three animated virtual judges, while their physiological responses were monitored continuously. From an initial pool of 95 participants, 32 (10 males) were selected to participate in the experiment according to their anxiety level (high or low). The results showed a general increase in heart-rate and skin conductance levels while they were reading the first text. A general differentiation between the groups was also observed in the heart-rate data, with participants in the high-anxiety group showing higher rates than in low-anxiety participants. Interestingly, the participants rated the exposure situation as more realistic while they were reading the more difficult text. In general, it can be concluded that the application Virtual Spectators seems to be a useful instrument to induce anxiety responses in exposure situations in the treatment of social anxiety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 108, p. 138-138
National Category
Psychology Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29062DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2016.07.403ISI: 000382408700402OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-29062DiVA, id: diva2:1033483
Conference
18th World Congress of Psychophysiology of the International Organization of Psychophysiology (IOP), AUG 31-SEP 04, 2016, Havana, CUBA
Available from: 2016-10-07 Created: 2016-10-07 Last updated: 2018-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Esteves, Francisco Gomes

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf