“A new study asked participants to play the role of virtual therapist for themselves—and the results suggest that VR could be an effective therapeutic device for some people.
[The] study, conducted at the University of Barcelona by VR researchers and clinical psychologists … found that immediately after body swapping with Freud and counseling themselves in virtual reality, about 80% of the 29 participants reported feeling like they had a different perspective on their problem and that this would result in a change in the way they dealt with it.
Mel Slater, a professor at the University of Barcelona, co-director of the Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology Lab, and the lead author of the paper [says] “The critical difference with the body swapping is you can think about it as if you’re another person listening to someone else’s problem …. That’s really what makes a difference.”
“The VR experience “Perspective, Chapter 2: The Misdemeanor,” which premieres today at the Sundance Film Festival, explores an encounter between New York City police officers and two young black men.
“The idea is to really use VR for empathy,” Ryan Pulliam [co-founder and CMO of Specular Theory] said.
The [Specular Theory] series is part of a broader movement to use VR to promote social good.
AT&T, for example, partnered with animation and visual effects studio Reel FX to create a VR experience called “It Can Wait” to discourage drivers from texting while driving.
In the simulation, the viewer drives a car through residential neighborhoods and busy streets with a phone in hand, narrowly missing bicyclists, joggers and schoolchildren and ultimately causing an accident.”