Virtual reality storytelling as a double-edged sword: Immersive presentation of nonfiction 360°-video is associated with impaired cognitive information processing

Miguel Barreda Angeles, Sara Aleix-Guillaume, Alexandre Pereda-Baños

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the effects of the immersive presentation of nonfiction omnidirectional video on audiences’ cognitive processing. Participants watched a sample of 360°-video nonfiction content, presented either in a virtual reality headset or on a computer screen. Measures of heart rate variability and electrodermal activity were collected, together with self-reported ratings of presence, information recognition, and memory. The results indicate that the immersive presentation elicits higher arousal and presence, but also lower focused attention, recognition, and cued recall of information. These effects on focused attention and memory were not mediated by variations on arousal or presence. Implications are discussed in terms of the psychological effects of immersive media, as well as their relevance for media practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-173
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume88
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2020

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