Testing an Immersive Virtual Environment for Decreasing Intergroup Anxiety among University Students: An Interpersonal Perspective

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Abstract

This study examined the use of an immersive virtual environment (IVE) in decreasing intergroup anxiety among university students. In Dinner-time360 , the students engaged in an interpersonal encounter by sharing a virtual dinner table with someone from another linguistic or cultural group. A control group watched the documentary in a traditional 2D format. The re-sults showed that the documentary reduced intergroup anxiety in both situa-tions, particularly among students with high anxiety who engaged in the IVE. For the IVE viewers, the decrease in intergroup anxiety was connected to two interpersonal elements: perceptions of the character’s immediacy and an in-creased level of homophily. These findings provide insights into the possibil-ities of IVEs in multicultural learning among university students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-220
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning
Volume16
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • multicultural learning, intergroup anxiety, interpersonal communi- cation, immersive virtual environment, parasocial contact
  • 390.00

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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