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Controlling a stream of paranoia evoking events in a virtual reality environment

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Author: Isnanda, R.G. · Brinkman, W.P. · Veling, W. · Gaag, M. van der · Neerincx, M.A.
Source:Studies in Health Technology and Informatics vol 99, 55-60
Identifier: 574958
Keywords: Human Performances · PCS - Perceptual and Cognitive Systems · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Although virtual reality exposure has been reported as a method to induce paranoid thought, little is known about mechanisms to control specific virtual stressors. This paper reports on a study that examines the effect of controlling the stream of potential paranoia evoking events in a virtual restaurant world. A 2-by-2 experiment with a non-clinical group (n = 24) was conducted with as two within-subject factors: (1) the cycle time (short/long) for when the computer considers activation of a paranoia evoking event and (2) the probability that a paranoia-evoking event (low/high) would be triggered at the completion of a cycle. The results showed a significant main effect for the probability factor and two-way interaction effect with the cycle time factor on the number of paranoid comments participants made and their self-reported anxiety.