Effects of Virtual Training on Emotional Response: A Comparison Between Different Emotion Regulation Strategies

T. Bosse, C. Gerritsen, J. de Man, J. Treur

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Learning to regulate one's emotions under threatening circumstances is important, among others, for professionals like police officers and military personnel. To explore the opportunities of Virtual Reality-based training for such professionals, this paper describes an experiment performed to investigate the impact of virtual training on participants' experienced emotional responses in threatening situations. A set of 15 participants was asked to rate the subjective emotional intensity of a set of affective pictures at two different time points, separated by six hours. The participants were divided into three groups: the first group performed a session of virtual training in between, in which they received a choice-reaction task, the second group performed a session of virtual training, in which they had to apply reappraisal strategies, and a control group did not have any training session. The results indicate that the reappraisal-based training caused the participants in that group to give significantly lower ratings for the emotional intensity of the negative pictures, whereas the content-based training resulted in significantly higher ratings compared to the group without training. Moreover, a second experiment, performed with the same participants six months later, indicated that these effects are fairly persistent over time, and that they transfer to different pictures with similar characteristics. © Springer International Publishing 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on Brain and Health Informatics, BHI'13
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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