A Comparison of Active and Passive Virtual Reality Exposure Scenarios to Elicit Social Anxiety





Virtual Reality Exposure, Serious Games, Social Phobia, Cognitive Behavior,


Social phobia is an anxiety disorder that results in an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. As a safe and controlled tool, Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) has been used to treat anxiety disorders and phobias. This paper aims to study whether VRET with active scenarios can challenge a person more than passive scenarios. By comparing participants who were exposed to active and passive scenarios in VRET, we show that active scenarios are more effective than passive scenarios to elicit social anxiety in healthy participants. We focus on eliciting social anxiety and creating the sense of presence as two parameters enhancing the efficacy of VRET scenarios.

Author Biographies

  • Yoones A. Sekhavat, Faculty of Multimedia, Tabriz Islamic Art University

    Dr. Yoones A. Sekhavat is an Assistant Professor in Faculty of Multimedia at Tabriz Islamic Art University. He holds a Ph.D in Computer Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. He also holds a post-doc from the University of Alberta in Canada. His research has been published in IEEE, Transactions on Multimedia, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, Multimedia Tools and Applications, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence Tools as well as SEGAH, VLDB, ER, and ICSC Conferences. He is the head of the Cognitive Augmented Reality lab (www.CARLab.ir). His research interests are Serious Games, Artificial Intelligence in Computer Games, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.  

  • Poorya Nomani, Faculty of Multimedia, Tabriz Islamic Art University
    Poorya Nomani is a graduate student of Computer Arts (Computer Games Production) in Faculty of Multimedia at Tabriz Islamic Art University. He works on virtual reality games and applications. His research has been published in International Conference of Cognitive Science. He is a senior member of Cognitive Augmented Reality lab.


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How to Cite

A Comparison of Active and Passive Virtual Reality Exposure Scenarios to Elicit Social Anxiety. (2017). International Journal of Serious Games, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.17083/ijsg.v4i2.154