An Experimental Examination of the Effects of the Invisible Human Experience on Self-esteem

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Kimi UedaMaho SasakiAyumi NodaHirotake IshiiHiroshi Shimoda

Abstract: Moderate self-esteem is considered desirable from perspectives such as leading to effective decision-making (Baumeister et al. 2003; Kirkpatrick and Ellis 2003). One factor that can lead to low self-esteem is the perceived large difference between the ideal self and the actual self-views (Bills, Vance, and McLEAN 1951; Hannover, Birkner, and Pöhlmann 2006). Therefore, we hypothesized that through an experience as if one had become an “Invisible Human”, self-esteem reduction could be prevented by diminishing one's existence and removing their awareness of comparing one's ideal self with one's actual self-views. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of the Invisible Human experience of the invisible human on self-esteem.In the experiment, participants experienced the Invisible Human experience through Augmented Reality (AR). (1) the feeling of being an invisible human, (2) the sense of one's physical self-presence, (3) the self-evaluation consciousness, (4) the difference between the ideal self and the real self, and (5) state self-esteem scale were evaluated through questionnaires before and after the AR experience. In the experience, images acquired using a camera attached to a head-mounted display (HMD) were processed in real-time to create an image in which only the body of the participants seems to have disappeared from the real view, which was then presented on the HMD. Valid data obtained were N=24 (15 females and 9 males, age 21.3²2.3 years).The results showed that Significant differences were found in (1), (2), and (3) before and after the experience, which indicates that the Invisible Man experience made participants feel more as if they were invisible, their sense of self-presence decreased, and their self-evaluation consciousness weakened. There was also a tendency for (4) the difference between the ideal self and actual self-views to become smaller. However, there was no significant difference in the (5) state self-esteem scale. The impact of the Invisible Human experience might change depending on the participants' usual level of self-esteem. If low self-esteem can be high and high self-esteem can be low, then the Invisible Human experience may work effectively to maintain their self-esteem to be moderate. In future studies, more evaluations with a larger number of participants are needed.Baumeister, Roy F., Jennifer D. Campbell, Joachim I. Krueger, and Kathleen D. Vohs. 2003. “Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles?” Psychological Science in the Public Interest: A Journal of the American Psychological Society 4 (1): 1–44.Bills, R. E., E. L. Vance, and O. S. McLEAN. 1951. “An Index of Adjustment and Values.” Journal of Consulting Psychology 15 (3): 257–61.Hannover, Bettina, Norbert Birkner, and Claudia Pöhlmann. 2006. “Ideal Selves and Self-Esteem in People with Independent or Interdependent Self-Construal.” European Journal of Social Psychology 36 (1): 119–33.Kirkpatrick, Lee A., and Bruce J. Ellis. 2003. “An Evolutionary-Psychological Approach to Self-Esteem: Multiple Domains and Multiple Functions.” Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Interpersonal Processes, 409–36.

Keywords: Self-esteem, Invisible human experience, Augmented reality, Ideal self and actual self-views, Self-evaluation consciousness

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1004136

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