Generating a learning stance through perspective-taking in a virtual environment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging media technologies such as virtual environments present a unique opportunity to examine the effects of perspective-taking on processes of human learning. In these environments it is possible for learners to immerse themselves in a unique visual perspective - such as that of a competent actor - and experience the ways they allocate their attention as they perform critical tasks in a domain. This study investigates whether the opportunity to experience a first-person perspective of actions in a virtual world simulation benefits learning compared to a third-person, disembodied perspective of those same events. Measures of performance within the simulation and post-assessment activities including a diagramming task indicate significant advantages for participants who received the first-person perspective. These participants had a better memory for the important tasks and task-related elements of the simulation; they committed fewer errors and exhibited less help-seeking behavior than participants with a third-person perspective. Results are described in terms of a virtual environment's ability to generate a learning stance through person-centered perspective-taking, and potential implications for the design of instructional computer technologies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1139
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer simulations
  • Learning
  • Perspective-taking
  • Virtual environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • General Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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