We present an experimental study conducted in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that examined the effect of immersive 360° video on inducing a more critical perception of the ingroup’s actions in the conflict. An immersive experience of a simulated conflict scenario filmed from the outgroup’s point of view led to the judgment of the ingroup actors’ behavior as less moral and less justified compared to watching the same scenario as a two-dimensional video. Contrary to expectation, this effect was not mediated through increased outgroup perspective-taking and empathy, but through higher levels of hostile emotions towards the ingroup actors, which in turn were influenced by an increased sense of presence and engagement in the immersive experience. These findings provide initial evidence for the still widely unexplored potential of virtual reality as a new method for conflict resolution but challenge the common assumption of the empathy-enhancing capacity of virtual reality.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2020|
|MoE publication type||Not Eligible|