The effects of Virtual Reality from different visual perspectives on empathy.

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Dinghau HuangYuling Pan

Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR), as a modern technology, can embody perspective-taking, making people see the world through the eyes of others. Many research has found that VR can be an effective medium to facilitate empathy; besides, some studies have investigated the underlying mechanism of empathy facilitation through VR devices. The current research examines whether the difference in visual perspective, which are represented as the first or third-person point of view, would affect the empathy facilitation of VR users.We invited forty people, separated into two groups as the first-person perspective group (1PP) and the third-person perspective group (3PP). The subjects were asked to watch the video through VR devices with same contents but from different points of view. The results indicated that there was no significant difference in empathy facilitation between the two groups. However, after dividing empathy into two dimensions, affective and cognitive empathy, the former showed a significant difference. Experiencing from the third-person perspective, the subjects aroused more emotions, such as guilty and compassion, thereby cultivating empathy toward the character of the video. Furthermore, for the feelings of the VR experience, the subjects of 1PP and 3PP displayed great disparity as well. Most of the subjects of 3PP subjectively considered the experience good, while the others felt neutral.

Keywords: Visual perspective, Affective empathy, Third, person perspective, Virtual reality

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003925

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