The VRSciT project (2020-1-PT01-KA204-078597) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Psychological and physiological human responses to simulated and real environments: A comparison between Photographs, 360Panoramas, and Virtual Reality

Study Field
Design, STEAM, Science Communication
Summary
Psychological research into human factors frequently uses simulations to study the relationship between human behaviour and the environment. Their validity depends on their similarity with the physical environments. This paper aims to validate three environmental simulation display formats: photographs, 360° panoramas, and virtual reality. To do this, we compared the psychological and physiological responses evoked by simulated environment set-ups to those from a physical environment setup; we also assessed the users' sense of presence. Analysis shows that 360° panoramas offer the closest to reality results according to the participants' psychological responses and virtual reality according to the physiological responses. Correlations between the feeling of presence and physiological and other psychological responses were also observed. These results may be of interest to researchers using environmental-simulation technologies currently available in order to replicate the experience of physical environments.
Innovative VR tools and techniques
● Regarding the psychological responses, 360° panorama led to the most accurate outcomes; this may be also linked to increased participants’ presence because it has previously been related to deeper emotional response.
● Photograph, 360° panorama, and virtual reality, compared to physical environments.
VR in education
● Environmental simulations acquire a relevant role in environmental psychology as they allow us to recreate and study in isolation and in a controlled way the effects of space on human experience.
● VR appears to be the most appropriate display when trying to evoke physiological responses in environmental studies.
● The higher the users' feeling of presence, the closer their behaviour is to that in the physical environment.
● Psychological and physiological aspects and presence were measured.
● 360° panorama is the most valid display format according to psychological responses.
● Virtual reality is the most valid display format in terms of physiological response.
● Physiological and psychological responses correlate with the feeling of presence.
● 360° panorama produced the highest sense of presence, closely followed by VR, and finally, by the photograph which had an extremely low score.
● Concerning physiological responses, the VR format reached the closest approximation to physical living conditions, which may be due to the influence that interactivity has on the sense of presence.
● 360° panoramas tend to obtain the best psychological outcome scores while VR scored the best for physiological measurements.
Reference
Juan Luis Higuera-Trujillo, Juan López-Tarruella Maldonado, Carmen Llinares Millán, Psychological and physiological human responses to simulated and real environments: A comparison between Photographs, 360° Panoramas, and Virtual Reality, Applied Ergonomi

The VRSciT Project

The VRSciT project (2020-1-PT01-KA204-078597) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.