This study examined how the participant’s self-esteem and social physique anxiety affected the emotional reactions to viewing their own virtual body and willingness to participate in the virtual experience in the future. Three-dimensional body scanning technology was used as a virtual reality tool. Ninety-three (51 males and 42 females) subjects participated in the experiment, who were 18+ years old, both genders, and had no history of musculoskeletal or mental problems. The experiment consisted of the three phases, including the pre-scanning survey, 3D body scanning, and post-scanning evaluation. The results verified causal relationships that led to certain types of emotions after viewing the 3D virtual body and the willingness to participate in a future session, within the domains of self-esteem and social physique anxiety. Specifically, self-confidence (positive dimension of self-esteem) was strongly associated with positive emotions. The “other-oriented” perspective of social physique anxiety exhibited positive correlations with negative emotions. The participants who showed positive emotions indicated a strong willingness to participate in another session of 3D body scanning in the future, but those with negative emotions also showed their positive willingness to participate in the future session. It signified that regardless of their emotional responses (positive or negative) to viewing their 3D virtual body, the participants were willing to experience their 3D virtual body in the future. The findings suggested that this virtual reality approach could be used as a potentially effective, clinical tool for patients with body image-related disorders. Study limitations and future research were also discussed.
Virtual Reality – Springer Journals
Published: May 18, 2017
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