Virtual reality as a tool for promoting reading via enhanced narrative absorption and empathy

Federico Pianzola*, Katalin Balint, Jessica Weller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Reading fiction is beneficial for various social skills, although reading has become less and less popular with younger generations. This study investigated whether reading a chapter of a fictional story in virtual reality (VR) can make the reading experience more appealing and increase intention to read the story further. A between-subject experiment ( N  = 83) was conducted to compare the effect of a printed book and a VR reading environment on narrative absorption, empathy with fictional characters, and intention to read. The results show that VR enhances intention to read, via a serial mediation of transportation into the story world and affective empathy. These findings indicate that VR can be effectively exploited for promoting reading.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-194
Number of pages30
JournalScientific Study of Literature
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • virtual reality
  • reading
  • empathy
  • narrative engagement

VU Research Profile

  • Connected World

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