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  Looking Back From the Future: Perspective Taking in Virtual Reality Increases Future Self-Continuity

Ganschow, B., Cornet, L., Zebel, S., & Van Gelder, J.-L. (2021). Looking Back From the Future: Perspective Taking in Virtual Reality Increases Future Self-Continuity. Frontiers in Psychology, (12): 664687. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.664687.

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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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 Creators:
Ganschow, Benjamin, Author
Cornet, Liza, Author
Zebel, Sven, Author
Van Gelder, Jean-Louis1, Author           
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1Criminology, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Max Planck Society, ou_2489695              

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 Abstract: In the current study, we tested a novel perspective-taking exercise aimed at increasing the connection participants felt toward their future self, i.e., future self-continuity. Participants role-played as their successful future self and answered questions about what it feels like to become their future and the path to get there. The exercise was also conducted in a virtual reality environment and in vivo to investigate the possible added value of the virtual environment with respect to improved focus, perspective-taking, and effectiveness for participants with less imagination. Results show that the perspective taking exercise in virtual reality substantially increased all four domains of future self-continuity, i.e., connectedness, similarity, vividness, and liking, while the in vivo equivalent increased only liking and vividness. Although connectedness and similarity were directionally, but not significantly different between the virtual and in vivo environments, neither the focus, perspective taking, or individual differences in imagination could explain this difference—which suggests a small, but non-significant, placebo effect of the virtual reality environment. However, lower baseline vividness in the in vivo group may explain this difference and suggests preliminary evidence for the dependency of connectedness and similarity domains upon baseline vividness. These findings show that the perspective taking exercise in a VR environment can reliably increase the future self-continuity domains.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-06-09
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.664687
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Title: Frontiers in Psychology
  Abbreviation : Front Psychol
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Pully, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: (12) Sequence Number: 664687 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1664-1078
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1664-1078