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Two Experimental Virtual Paradigms for Stress Research: Developing Avatar-Based Approaches for Interpersonal and Evaluative Stressors

Abstract : In light of the rather limited ecological validity of paradigms traditionally used for social stress research, the current paper set out to introduce virtual analogues of the Cyberball-Game (Williams 2007) and the Trier Social Stress Test (Kirschbaum, Pirke, and Hellhammer 1993). Both were tested in samples of healthy adults using salivary cortisol, self-reported stress and presence as dependent measures. Results indicate a significant rise in cortisol levels and subjective stress; presence, however, was not correlated with stress reactivity. In sum, this study clearly supports the use of virtual environments in stress research as they offer both the internal control and ecological validity needed to generalize findings to real-world settings.
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https://hal.inria.fr/hal-01640284
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Oswald Kothgassner, Helmut Hlavacs, Leon Beutl, Lisa Glenk, Rupert Palme, et al.. Two Experimental Virtual Paradigms for Stress Research: Developing Avatar-Based Approaches for Interpersonal and Evaluative Stressors. 15th International Conference on Entertainment Computing (ICEC), Sep 2016, Wien, Austria. pp.51-62, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-46100-7_5⟩. ⟨hal-01640284⟩

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