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How Do Virtual Environments Impact Inter- and Transcultural Encounters? A Virtual Reality-Study

Mensch-Computer-Systeme / Human-Computer Interaction
Created by
Sophia Feldmann


Being in different virtual environments can have an influence on the behavior and emotion of individuals. For instance, being immersed in a virtual forest can reduce stress levels [1], while encountering others in a virtual library may evoke perceptions of formality and reduced warmth [2]. Building upon this knowledge, this study investigates the influence of culturally connoted virtual environments on intercultural competence. Specifically, it examines intercultural encounters between a US-American and German individual within a virtual reality (VR) setting. Participants engage in VR discussions within culturally connoted settings, such as a diner or beer garden, as well as a culturally neutral living room, fostering exploration of their respective cultures. The study analyzes the content of these conversations and evaluates participants’ intercultural competence through questionnaires. While awaiting results, this research aims to provide valuable insights into intercultural dynamics within different VR environments, thus informing the development of interventions designed to enhance intercultural understanding and communication skills.

[1] X. Wang, Y. Shi, B. Zhang, und Y. Chiang, „The Influence of Forest Resting Environments on Stress Using Virtual Reality“, IJERPH, Bd. 16, Nr. 18, S. 3263, Sep. 2019, doi: 10.3390/ijerph16183263.

[2] J. Peña und K. Blackburn, „The Priming Effects of Virtual Environments on Interpersonal Perceptions and Behaviors: Environmental Priming“, J Commun, Bd. 63, Nr. 4, S. 703–720, Aug. 2013, doi: 10.1111/jcom.12043.

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