There are different views on how virtual reality technology affects a person’s perception of the world. The average VR user is an opportunity to move to a completely different environment and get the new sensory experiences. Previously, this technology was only related to the entertainment industry. But in 2018 people are teaching, building, healing, coaching and even evolving with the help of VR. Therefore its nature is still under discussion. We decided to do a little research of our own to discover the right answers and destroy the stereotypes associated with virtual reality and its impact on information perception.
We will start by finding out what the “effect of baptism” is and how it works. The initial intention of the creators of VR technology was to illuminate the boundary between human and computer. It is aimed at stimulating emotions which in turn constitute the real experience. The immersion effect appears when a user leaves the real world completely and feels his presence in the virtual space.
The tumultuous interest in VR was discovered in the early 1990s when the first success was achieved in the entertainment industry. At the beginning of the 21st century technology has improved and started to be used in various areas of people’s lives. Health and military workers were the first to identify the high potential of using VR for teaching purposes. This allows them to create a cheaper and safer medium to emulate the learning environment which will be able to improve some of the skills and teach how to use the knowledge gained in practice. This is one of the reasons why most studies in foreign psychology focus on the study of the virtual environment and the so-called “pedagogical agents”, the virtual characters who aim to increase the effectiveness of VR-based training.
Steffi Dumag, the German professor at Erfurt University, admits that pedagogical agents contribute to increasing motivation for learning. This is related not only to some school or university programs. Also, virtual reality technology is rapidly evolving as simulations aimed at reducing the amount and quality of errors during training in certain risk industries such as surgery, nuclear physics, engineering and many others. Domg also explains that motivation improvement can only be achieved if the agents communicate with the students a lot or give the encouraging feedback. The other group of scientists, R. Moreno, Martin Reislein, Jozogol, examined the non-verbal level. According to their research, pedagogical agents have a positive effect on learning only when they use many movements, for example, they may direct the objects into space or when the arrow is directed to the required area. Thus, the pedagogical agents support the cognitive processes and precisely the students, and motivate them to continue working on exercises.
The group of Swiss scientists led by Y. Trailer conducted the extraordinary experiment to understand the capabilities of virtual training. The students did their practice in the virtual environment. They formulated the theories, sampled the experiments and analyzed the results in the virtual lab. The experiment proved that the virtual environment contributed to the improvement of their specific and common knowledge in science.
The researchers described above demonstrate that virtual reality is a perfect solution for empowering users. But how does it work? The explanation was found by Williams D., Y. N., Kaplan S.. They found that involvement in VR is related to users’ true emotional affection for virtual characters. It is based on a complicated connection of their personal characteristics and motivation. This motivation was analyzed by scientists from the standpoint of three motivational groups: social, progressive, and sweeping. Social motives are characterized by a desire to start communicating with other people and finding new friends. The advanced ones are aimed at self-development and achieving new levels in the virtual environment. The sweeping motives are about learning a new team and opening up new horizons.
According to the report, these three groups cause users to spend time in virtual reality. The stronger impact of these motives is, the stronger their desire to achieve it in real life. Because people can not make it real sometimes, users will see the alternative versions. The virtual environment begins to directly affect the psychological and intellectual aspects of the personality.
While bioethicists, geneticists and politicians argue about the ethics of human change, technologists have a free rule. We can argue about the benefits of today’s expansion level, but there can be no doubt that the arms race has continued to make this interface smoother. The question is not whether these technologies will change our experience of reality, but how fast.
This progress feels almost evolutionary. Humans reach this heightened state through technology, but many animals already feel things they cannot. Pit vipers “see” thermal radiation of their prey, salmon are sensitive to magnetic fields, and arctic moose see the UV spectrum to distinguish between food and snow.
What you see and understand soon will be different from the person next to you, and we will no longer have a shared experience of our shared environment. When AR comes in its fuller and more integrated state, the challenge for our company in the technology strata will be how we stay in sync with each other. Who will be the chameleons of the future, and what will they see that we all can not?