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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2017 Oct;20(10):624-633. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2017.0174.

Beat the Fear of Public Speaking: Mobile 360° Video Virtual Reality Exposure Training in Home Environment Reduces Public Speaking Anxiety.

Author information

1
1 University College Roosevelt (Utrecht University), Academic Core Department, Middelburg, the Netherlands .
2
2 NHTV University of Applied Sciences, Academy for Digital Entertainment, Breda, the Netherlands .

Abstract

With this article, we aim to increase our understanding of how mobile virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) can help reduce speaking anxiety. Using the results of a longitudinal study, we examined the effect of a new VRET strategy (Public Speech Trainer, PST), that incorporates 360° live recorded VR environments, on the reduction of public speaking anxiety. The PST was developed as a 360° smartphone application for a VR head-mounted device that participants could use at home. Realistic anxiety experiences were created by means of live 360° video recordings of a lecture hall containing three training sessions based on graded exposure framework; empty classroom (a) and with a small (b) and large audience (c). Thirty-five students participated in all sessions using PST. Anxiety levels were measured before and after each session over a period of 4 weeks. As expected, speaking anxiety significantly decreased after the completion of all PST sessions, and the decrement was the strongest in participants with initially high speaking anxiety baseline levels. Results also revealed that participants with moderate and high speaking anxiety baseline level differ in the anxiety state pattern over time. Conclusively and in line with habituation theory, the results supported the notion that VRET is more effective when aimed at reducing high-state anxiety levels. Further implications for future research and improvement of current VRET strategies are discussed.

KEYWORDS:

360° video VRET; graded exposure; public speaking anxiety

PMID:
29039704
DOI:
10.1089/cyber.2017.0174
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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