The Effects of Viewing an Uplifting 360-Degree Video on Emotional Well-Being among Elderly Adults and College Students under Immersive Virtual Reality and Smartphone Conditions

Qian Liu, Yanyun Wang, Mike Z. Yao, Qingyang Tang, Yuting Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Positive emotions are important for the physical and mental health of elderly adults. Previous research has suggested that the emotion processing mechanisms of elderly adults differ from those of young people. The current study used a mixed-methods approach to explore the emotional impacts of viewing an uplifting 360° videos under immersive (using a virtual reality [VR] headset) and nonimmersive (using a smartphone) conditions on elderly populations and young people. In Study 1, we conducted a pre-post treatment between-subject field experiment (smartphone vs. VR) among 58 seniors (aged 60 years and above) in a community center in Beijing, China. One-on-one semistructured interviews of each participant were conducted after the experiment. In Study 2, we conducted a between-subject laboratory experiment with the same design among college students. The results show that while both VR and smartphone viewing conditions led to a significant positive effect on the self-reported emotions of the college students, only the smartphone viewing condition had a significant impact on the emotional well-being of the elderly participants. For college students, immersive VR had a stronger effect on inducing positive emotions than smartphone, but for elderly people, the smartphone viewing condition was more effective in improving emotional wellbeing than immersive VR. An analysis of the qualitative data from interviewing the elderly participants also revealed a divergence in the acceptance of VR technologies among elderly adults, and the sense of telepresence had both positive and negative effects on the elderly participants' emotions and experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-164
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Keywords

  • college students
  • elderly adults
  • emotional well-being
  • mixed method
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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