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Virtual spiders raise real heart rates
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2015 (English)In: Abstracts from the 7th Swedish Congress on internet interventions (SWEsrii), Linköping: Linköping University Press , 2015, 17-17 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Virtual realities (VR) give rise to feelings of presence in virtual environments and have been proven a useful medium when treating specific phobias. For validation of the usability of VR for exposure therapy it is critical to investigate the techs capacity of activating the user physiologically. An experiment was designed with the purpose of investigating if virtual spiders in a virtual environment could cause a heightening of heart rate in the participants (N = 24). The hypothesis was that participants presumably, even those not clinically spider phobic, would get raised heart rates following the introduction of several large tarantulas in a virtual room. A virtual reality program was developed that simulated spider movement around the room and a control routine with white balls instead of spiders. The experiment was of in group design and the routines sequence was balanced. Participants heart rate, despite small sample size, was significantly higher when the spiders were present in the virtual world compared to the neutral control sequence (d=0,22).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Press , 2015. 17-17 p.
Keyword [en]
virtual reality, VR, exposure therapy, spiders, heart rate
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123118OAI: diva2:871756
7th Swedish Congress on internet interventions (SWEsrii), 6-7 November 2015, Stockholm, Sweden.
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-16 Last updated: 2015-11-16

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SWEsrii 2015 Program with abstracts(1083 kB)23 downloads
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Carlbring, Per
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