Self-Study performative Experiment: Meeting yourself in Virtual Reality and Self Compassion

Daniel Landau

Research output: Artistic and non-textual formPerformanceSolo art production


Research in the field of compassion has showed that it is generally easier for people to express compassion to others rather than being compassionate to one’s self (Kristin Neff … ...). In our research we use immersive stereoscopic video (ISV) to create a scenario in which participants get to meet themselves in a hyper realistic, immersive environment. They will be looking into their own eyes, physically hold their own hands and hear compassionate words said towards themself by themselves. We achieve this interaction by inviting participants to two sessions. In the first session the participant is filmed with an ISV system. Next, in the second session, this footage is edited and played-back on a head mounted display (HMD) achieving the following:
The participant sees him/herself in first person perspective (1PP), effectively embodying him/her in his/her own body in the immersive virtual reality (IVR)
Then, the participant sees him/her-self in third person perspective (3PP) sitting In front of him/herself, looking into their eyes and physically feel the touch of their own hands.
Lastly, the participant will be addressed compassionately by himself.

Our hypothesis is that this intervention will increase the feeling of closeness to one’s self. We plan to measure this using the Comfortable Interpersonal Distance (CID) scale between the live participant and his virtual self. We will have three conditions for each subject measuring the distance of ‘comfortable distance’ between: yourself, a close friend, a stranger.
In each instance we will have the person coming towards you walk this path 6 times. Three times with establishing eye contact and three times without.

The control group will be a group of participants (same number of people) who will only do the “proxemics” task with the 3 conditions (yourself, friend, and stranger); without the “meeting your virtual self” part. The assumption is that participants in the experimental group that met their virtual self would have closer CIDs to their own avatar than participants in the control group.

We will run a Self-Compassion Scale questionnaire (Neff’s 2003) in addition to the behavioral proxemics measure
We will also test the long-term impact of the intervention by giving the participant the same questionnaire a few weeks later, and in this questionnaire we will ask how the experience affected their everyday life, did they become more confident in their social interactions etc. (this will be measured in the beginning perhaps).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2017
MoE publication typeF1 Published independent work of art
EventB3 Biennial of the Moving Image - Junghofstr. 5–9 , Frankfurt, Germany
Duration: 29 Nov 20173 Dec 2017


  • Self
  • Virtual reality
  • Psychology


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