Can virtual reality help us to understand each other?

VR can be used to make people compassionate.

Credit: Stanford.

Now a days with the advance in technology we can feel something as real as it can be without even performing it physically. And the technology is called ‘Virtual Reality’.

From adult entertainment to the gaming this technology is now being adopted faster than ever before. But the technology is in its early stage and needs quite a bit of improvement. Thats all about entertainment part of the virtual reality. But an emerging technology like VR’s utility values to our life really lies on what kind of problem it can solve, or how it makes our daily life more simple ore seamless.

Now, a Stanford research shows that, this technology can help us understand people, make us more compassionate.

In tow studies involving 560 participants, VR has shown to affect people’s level of empathy for others. Specifically, peoples who experienced how it would be to lose their job and become homeless has developed longer-term compassion for the homeless compared to those who were exposed to the information about homeless peoples in other conventional ways.

Alex Shashkevich is writer of the story “Becoming Homeless”- the seven minute VR experience shown to the percipients. Jeremy Bailenson, PhD, a professor of communication and a co-author of the paper said “Experiences are what define us as humans, so it’s not surprising that an intense experience in VR is more impactful than imagining something.”

A co-author of the paper described the findings exciting and they are an important steps towards figuring out how much of an effect VR can have on people’s level of empathy in the long term.

They also said “researchers are working on other studies to figure out the nuances of VR’s effects on people. “

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