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Unraveling the persuasive power of 360º-video Virtual Reality narratives


Raising awareness and comprehension of global problems such as climate change or refugee movements provides a communicational challenge, as these problems often stay abstract and distant to people. With the advent of virtual reality (VR), academics and journalists alike put their hope in 360º-video VR stories as a potentially revolutionary tool to create scenarios that make these problems more graspable, thus raising concern and instigating attitude-change. However, to date, empirical insight into potential persuasive effects of 360º-video VR stories is almost absent, and theoretical conceptualizations of how they might impact people are lacking. PersVR is going to change this. The aim of PersVR is to overcome these shortcomings, and to demonstrate if and how immersive journalism and documentary focusing on 360º-video VR might affect people’s beliefs, attitudes, and behavior.
The project adopts a multidisciplinary perspective that integrates knowledge from different fields (including social psychology, communication sciences, and psychophysiology) into a theoretical model that describes how narrative and immersive attributes of 360º-video VR lead to persuasive outcomes. The empirical testing of the model will utilize an innovative combination of self-report, psychophysiological, and behavioral methods to comprehensively illuminate the psychological mechanisms involved. The complex set of methods deployed will permit to determine optimal methodological standards that promise to guide future related studies. The current rise of “immersive journalism” and VR storytelling accentuate the high relevance, timeliness, and expected impact of the project. The innovative approach of the project and the envisioned collaboration with the host will provide the applicant with a unique research profile and significantly advance his striving for an independent career at world-leading research centers dedicated to illuminate the social impact of new VR technologies.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/psychology
  • /social sciences/psychology/social psychology
  • /social sciences/media and communications/journalism

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 175 572,48