The Persuasive Power of Virtual Reality: Effects of Simulated Human Distress on Attitudes towards Fire Safety
Authors:Chittaro L., Zangrando N.
Published in:Proceedings of PERSUASIVE 2010: 5th International Conference on Persuasive Technologies, LNCS 6137, Springer, Berlin, June 2010, pp. 58-69.
Abstract:Although virtual reality (VR) is a powerful simulation tool that can allow users to experience the effects of their actions in vivid and memorable ways, explorations of VR as a persuasive technology are rare. In this paper, we focus on different ways of providing negative feedback for persuasive purposes through simulated experiences in VR. The persuasive goal we consider concerns awareness of personal fire safety issues and the experiment we describe focuses on attitudes towards smoke in evacuating buildings. We test two techniques: the first technique simulates the damaging effects of smoke on the user through a visualization that should not evoke strong emotions, while the second is aimed at partially reproducing the anxiety of an emergency situation. The results of the study show that the second technique is able to increase user’s anxiety as well as producing better results in attitude change.