OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Assessment of Acrophobia: A Comparison of Virtual Reality and In Vivo Environments


The objective of this study is to examine the potential of virtual reality exposure to be a sufficiently similar form of assessment for people with fear of heights. The study focuses in the physiological and subjective responses to exposure to an environment with heights. We hypothesized that high anxiety participants physiological and subjective responses 82 5th Annual Student Research Symposium would be higher than control low anxiety in both in vivo and virtual reality exposure. Also, we hypothesized the physiological and subjective responses of all participants during in vivo and virtual reality would be sufficiently similar. The study will consist of selfreport and behavioral measures. First, participants will complete a series of self-reporting questionnaires to measure their fear of heights. The second part of the study will involve a lab portion in which 40 participants will be randomly selected and put in two groups based on their responses. Participants who scored high on fear of heights will be assigned to the “high anxiety” group. In contrast, participants that scored low will be assigned to the “low” group, which will also serve as a control. Each group will proceeded to an in vivo and a virtual reality exposure. Findings will provide further evidence to support the innovation of future forms of assessment using virtual reality

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