Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtual superheroes more helpful in real world, too

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Having virtual super-powers in a game may incite people to better behavior in the real world, according to new research.

Virtual child after being found and saved.
Credit: Robin S. Rosenberg, Shawnee L. Baughman, Jeremy N. Bailenson. Virtual Superheroes: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e55003 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055003

Having virtual super-powers in a game may incite people to better behavior in the real world, according to research published January 30 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Robin Rosenberg and colleagues from Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab.

Participants in this study were placed in a virtual environment and either given the power of flight or rode as passengers in a helicopter. They were then assigned one of two tasks: help find a missing diabetic child or tour a virtual city. The researchers explain that regardless of which task they performed, "Participants who were given the power to fly like Superman in virtual reality were more helpful afterward, out of virtual reality, compared to participants who were passengers in a helicopter in virtual reality."

The researchers suggest that embodying a superpower in virtual reality may prime players to 'think like superheroes' and thus facilitate subsequent helpful behavior in the real world. Alternately, the authors also suggest that participants who could fly in the game may have felt like more active participants than those who passively sat in the helicopter while performing tasks, and this more active involvement may have induced their subsequent behavior.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robin S. Rosenberg, Shawnee L. Baughman, Jeremy N. Bailenson. Virtual Superheroes: Using Superpowers in Virtual Reality to Encourage Prosocial Behavior. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (1): e55003 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055003

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Virtual superheroes more helpful in real world, too." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130184151.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, January 30). Virtual superheroes more helpful in real world, too. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130184151.htm
Public Library of Science. "Virtual superheroes more helpful in real world, too." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130184151.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Teen's Phone Ignites Under Her Pillow; How Real Is The Risk?

Newsy (July 28, 2014) A Texas teen's Samsung phone apparently ignited while she slept, but what was the real problem here? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Cellphone Unlocking Bill Clears U.S. House, Heads to Obama

Reuters - US Online Video (July 27, 2014) Congress gets rid of pesky law that made it illegal to "unlock" mobile phones without permission, giving consumers the option to use the same phone on a competitor's wireless network. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Congress OKs Unlocking Phones From Carriers

Newsy (July 26, 2014) A bill legalizing "unlocking," or untethering a phone from its default wireless carrier, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Virtual Superpowers Encourage Real-World Empathy

Jan. 31, 2013 Giving test subjects Superman-like flight in a virtual reality simulator makes them more likely to exhibit altruistic behavior in real life, researchers ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins