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Future or Fad? VR in Social Science Research

Social research methodologies are evolving at break-neck pace. This unique event will explore how Virtual Reality technology is changing the research landscape.

Researchers are increasingly looking to Virtual Reality to overcome the challenges of traditional social research environments. Behavioral science negotiates a tricky balance between its primary aim of understanding human interaction, whilst also facing ethical considerations, like managing adverse effects sometimes experienced by volunteer study participants. Furthermore, it is almost impossible to replicate test conditions or conversations between researcher and volunteer. How can VR help researchers to contend with these issues?

We invite three speakers at the cutting edge of VR social research to join us in a fully immersive environment, into which participants enter using a VR headset (HTC Vive or Oculus Rift).

Our three interdisciplinary speakers have extensive experience within VR environments. Each will speak for ten minutes about their current explorations. Following this, the audience is invited to join the speakers in an interactive, virtual discussion of the topics raised.

Dr Justyna Świdrak from IDIBAPS and Polish Academy of Sciences will talk about social influence induced by touch of embodied agents in VR. Justyna obtained her PhD in Psychology in 2018 at the Polish Academy of Sciences and has worked in Event Lab on a variety of projects involving VR, including changing attitudes to climate change by teleporting self to the future to experience the global warming consequences.

Dr Xiao Ma from Cornell University will talk about VR experiments powered by the crowd, or how she and colleagues used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to recruit participants to replicate a few different social experiments. Xiao is a PhD candidate in Information Science and currently a research intern at Facebook.

Christian Cherene from BeAnotherLab is a new media artist and interdisciplinary researcher. His practice explores the borders between technology, culture and sensory perception through interactive system design for multimedia installation, public art, performance and scientific research. He is co-founder of art/science research collective BeAnotherLab, which investigates identity and empathy through embodied interaction, virtual reality, storytelling and performance.

Spaces are limited for this one-of-a-kind event - follow the link to book your place!

This event is delivered via the ENGAGE Virtual Reality Platform, in partnership with Immersive VR Education.

Details of how to join the event will be sent to all attendees once all spaces have been filled.