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“Empathy machine”: how virtual reality affects human rights attitudes

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“Empathy machine”: how virtual reality affects human rights attitudes. / Bujić, Mila; Salminen, Mikko; Macey, Joseph; Hamari, Juho.

In: INTERNET RESEARCH, 2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Bujić, Mila ; Salminen, Mikko ; Macey, Joseph ; Hamari, Juho. / “Empathy machine”: how virtual reality affects human rights attitudes. In: INTERNET RESEARCH. 2020.

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@article{3ac67245d3d34f938240e5deaae2769b,
title = "“Empathy machine”: how virtual reality affects human rights attitudes",
abstract = "PurposeThis study aims to investigate how media content consumed through immersive technology may evoke changes in human rights attitudes. It has been proposed that our inability to empathize with others could be overcome by stepping into another's shoes. “Immersive journalism” has been postulated as being able to place us into the shoes of those whose feelings and experiences are distant to us. While virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree news videos have become widely available, it remains unclear how the consumption of content through immersive journalism affects users' attitudes.Design/methodology/approachUtilizing a between-subject laboratory-controlled experiment (N = 87) this study examined participant scores on the Human Rights Questionnaire before and after consuming 360-degree video immersive journalism content via VR (n = 31), 2D (n = 29), and Article (n = 27) formats. Collected data were analysed using statistical inference.FindingsResults indicate that immersive journalism can elicit a positive attitudinal change in users, unlike an Article, with mobile VR having a more prominent effect than a 2D screen. Furthermore, this change is more strongly affected by users' higher Involvement in the content.Originality/valueThese findings are relevant for grasping the distinct effects novel and recently popularized technologies and media have on attitudinal change, as well as inform the current debate on the value of VR as “empathy machines”.",
keywords = "virtual reality, 360-degree video, immersive journalism, human rights, attitude change, being-there",
author = "Mila Bujić and Mikko Salminen and Joseph Macey and Juho Hamari",
year = "2020",
doi = "10.1108/INTR-07-2019-0306",
language = "English",
journal = "INTERNET RESEARCH",
issn = "1066-2243",
publisher = "Emerald",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - “Empathy machine”: how virtual reality affects human rights attitudes

AU - Bujić, Mila

AU - Salminen, Mikko

AU - Macey, Joseph

AU - Hamari, Juho

PY - 2020

Y1 - 2020

N2 - PurposeThis study aims to investigate how media content consumed through immersive technology may evoke changes in human rights attitudes. It has been proposed that our inability to empathize with others could be overcome by stepping into another's shoes. “Immersive journalism” has been postulated as being able to place us into the shoes of those whose feelings and experiences are distant to us. While virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree news videos have become widely available, it remains unclear how the consumption of content through immersive journalism affects users' attitudes.Design/methodology/approachUtilizing a between-subject laboratory-controlled experiment (N = 87) this study examined participant scores on the Human Rights Questionnaire before and after consuming 360-degree video immersive journalism content via VR (n = 31), 2D (n = 29), and Article (n = 27) formats. Collected data were analysed using statistical inference.FindingsResults indicate that immersive journalism can elicit a positive attitudinal change in users, unlike an Article, with mobile VR having a more prominent effect than a 2D screen. Furthermore, this change is more strongly affected by users' higher Involvement in the content.Originality/valueThese findings are relevant for grasping the distinct effects novel and recently popularized technologies and media have on attitudinal change, as well as inform the current debate on the value of VR as “empathy machines”.

AB - PurposeThis study aims to investigate how media content consumed through immersive technology may evoke changes in human rights attitudes. It has been proposed that our inability to empathize with others could be overcome by stepping into another's shoes. “Immersive journalism” has been postulated as being able to place us into the shoes of those whose feelings and experiences are distant to us. While virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree news videos have become widely available, it remains unclear how the consumption of content through immersive journalism affects users' attitudes.Design/methodology/approachUtilizing a between-subject laboratory-controlled experiment (N = 87) this study examined participant scores on the Human Rights Questionnaire before and after consuming 360-degree video immersive journalism content via VR (n = 31), 2D (n = 29), and Article (n = 27) formats. Collected data were analysed using statistical inference.FindingsResults indicate that immersive journalism can elicit a positive attitudinal change in users, unlike an Article, with mobile VR having a more prominent effect than a 2D screen. Furthermore, this change is more strongly affected by users' higher Involvement in the content.Originality/valueThese findings are relevant for grasping the distinct effects novel and recently popularized technologies and media have on attitudinal change, as well as inform the current debate on the value of VR as “empathy machines”.

KW - virtual reality

KW - 360-degree video

KW - immersive journalism

KW - human rights

KW - attitude change

KW - being-there

U2 - 10.1108/INTR-07-2019-0306

DO - 10.1108/INTR-07-2019-0306

M3 - Article

JO - INTERNET RESEARCH

JF - INTERNET RESEARCH

SN - 1066-2243

ER -