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Title: Experiencing the outgroup through virtual reality experiments
Authors: Lew, Juline Yun Yee
Leow, Jing Xuan (Vetra)
Tay, Eleanor Sze Min
Thng, Clare Yu Min
Keywords: Social sciences::Communication::Intercultural communication
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Project: CS/19/015 
Abstract: People tend to hold negative attitudes towards those from different cultural groups, otherwise known as outgroup members. This study applies the social identity theory to explain why people may hold these negative attitudes. We examine the influence of perspective taking through embodiment in virtual reality (VR) on improving outgroup attitudes, in the context of Singaporean Chinese’s attitudes towards Chinese migrants from China. We also explore the role of empathy as a mediator. Four experimental conditions were designed to investigate how different types and the order of embodiment in VR influence attitudes towards outgroup members. We conducted one-way ANOVA and mediation analyses using data from 171 university students. Findings revealed that outgroup embodiment led to a significant increase in empathy for the outgroup (η2 = .38). Additionally, the results partially supported our hypothesis that outgroup embodiment led to an improvement in outgroup attitudes. It also revealed that empathy mediated the relationship between embodiment and outgroup attitudes. Lastly, we found the order of embodiment to cause significant differences in outgroup attitudes (η2 = .09). We discuss theoretical implications of these results and practical implications regarding the use of VR in improving outgroup attitudes, and conclude with directions for future research.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:WKWSCI Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI/CA)

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