Affective interactions using virtual reality: the link between presence and emotions

Cyberpsychol Behav. 2007 Feb;10(1):45-56. doi: 10.1089/cpb.2006.9993.


Many studies showed the ability of movies and imagery techniques to elicit emotions. Nevertheless, it is less clear how to manipulate the content of interactive media to induce specific emotional responses. In particular, this is true for the emerging medium virtual reality (VR), whose main feature is the ability to induce a feeling of "presence" in the computer-generated world experienced by the user. The main goal of this study was to analyze the possible use of VR as an affective medium. Within this general goal, the study also analyzed the relationship between presence and emotions. The results confirmed the efficacy of VR as affective medium: the interaction with "anxious" and "relaxing" virtual environments produced anxiety and relaxation. The data also showed a circular interaction between presence and emotions: on one side, the feeling of presence was greater in the "emotional" environments; on the other side, the emotional state was influenced by the level of presence. The significance of these results for the assessment of affective interaction is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Social Behavior*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • User-Computer Interface*