Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SOCRATES (Self Conversation in Virtual Reality Embodiment to Enhance Healthier Lifestyles Among Obese People)
Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2021-08-31
This project is based on a new paradigm for self-counselling in virtual reality. The idea is based on embodied perspective taking where patients can see and interact with a virtual human character that looks very much like themselves. In SOCRATES we exploit this method with three approaches addressed to the problem of patients with obesity. The first is to help patients understand the problem. They will see a close likeness of their real body shape. When people look in a mirror they see what they expect or want to see. Seeing yourself in full 3D stereo is rarely if ever possible in everyday life, and the expectation is that seeing their true (rather than imagined) body shape from this unusual perspective, will act as a motivation. A second aspect of this is that it is designed to help patients overcome their own self-stigmatisation to recognise that their worth is independent of their contingent body shape. In the third instantiation patients will be encouraged to understand the possibility of having a healthy and fit body corresponding with their own desire, with the goal to enhance their autonomy.