Virtual Human Interaction Lab – Stanford University

{ VHIL in the News }

Immersive Science Learning in Virtual Reality
- At the "Thinking Big About Learning" symposium at Stanford, Jeremy Bailenson discussed how virtual reality can be used to teach about the effects of climate change on the oceans. VIDEO

360° Diving Exploration of Kelp Forest Aquarium
- Stanford scholars — The Goldbogen Lab and The Virtual Human Interaction Lab — have teamed with BBC Big Blue Live to capture immersive 360 footage of a vibrant kelp forest. This immersive learning tool will be used to teach about marine science and to understand the role of immersive media in education. VIDEO

Virtual reality becomes a reality for college football, USA Today
A graduate thesis from VHIL has transformed the way that football players train. PDF

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell steps into virtual reality at Stanford lab, Stanford Report
- During a visit to VHIL, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell learned how virtual experiences could improve training and officiating, and also teach players empathy on a variety of social issues. PDF

Q&A: Stanford VR expert on the new tech's promise and limitations, San Jose Mercury News
- VHIL founder Jeremy Bailenson discusses the state of virtual reality, his hopes and worries for it, and what he thinks will be the killer app. PDF

How might virtual reality change the world? Stanford lab peers into future, CBS News
- VHIL studies how very intense experience in the virtual world changes you in the real world and shows how virtual reality can be a tool to teach you about yourself and to teach you empathy. PDF

Stanford studies virtual reality, kids, and the effects of make-believe, CBS News
- VHIL partners with Sesame Street to study the effects of virtual reality on child brain development.

Using virtual reality to overcome fear, reduce prejudice, USA Today
- VHIL research translates into helping people combat fears, become more empathetic and reduce prejudice. PDF

VR Watch: Can Stanford's approach work for film?, Los Angeles Times
- Jeremy Bailenson is skeptical of a broad use of virtual reality in film: How do you tell someone a story that you're in the middle of? PDF

NBA commissioner visits Stanford for lesson in virtual reality, Stanford Report
- VHIL research show that virtual reality training can improve athletic performance.

Stanford Football and Virtual Reality, ESPN
- ESPN discusses virtual reality created by VHIL to help Stanford quarterbacks read defenses.

Stanford community shines at the Bay Area Science Festival, The Dish
- VHIL hosted the "Virtual Reality in the Social Sciences" event as part of the Bay Area Science Festival. PDF

Can virtual reality make you a better person?, BBC Future
- Virtual reality has the potential to improve society by enhancing empathy and encouraging more considerate behaviours. PDF

The Future of Virtual Reality, KQED Forum
- Radio panel, featuring Jeremy Bailenson, discusses what VR can achieve beyond gaming and entertainment as well as its potential drawbacks. MP3

Virtual reality could make real difference in the environment, San Francisco Chronicle
- Jeremy Bailenson describes how virtual reality can bring people inside of a degraded ocean ecosystem and show how their personal carbon footprint contributes to ocean acidification. PDF, VIDEO

Stanford scientists identify body language tied to creativity, learning, Stanford Report
- VHIL research reveals that quantitative analysis of nonverbal cues can indicate a person's ability to learn and the strength of their creative skills. PDF

Seeing The Future (Through $40,000 Goggles) At Stanford's Virtual Reality Lab, Forbes
- The Forbes team experienced a number of simulations at VHIL designed to demonstrate how people experience virtual environments and how VR can be a tool for improving lives. VIDEO, PDF

Virtual reality: It's not just for video games, Fortune
- VHIL research has shown that making a cause and effect relationship perceptual, as opposed to theoretical, changes consumer and other behaviors more than other interventions. PDF

This is so like 'The Matrix', CNN Inside Man
- Morgan Spurlock walks a virtual reality plank at VHIL, and steps off. His brain doesn't know the difference between reality and virtual reality. VIDEO

The Virtual Reality Renaissance Is Here, But Are We Ready?, Mashable
- In the next five years, VR may redefine what it means to be in a place. PDF

7 Ways the Oculus Rift Could Change Entertainment as We Know It, Rolling Stone
- Jeremy Bailenson predicts ways the headset will rock your virtual world. PDF

If You Like Immersion, You’ll Love This Reality, The New York Times
- Virtual reality technology is advancing so quickly that it is certain to infuse just about every corner of our lives. PDF

Facebook’s Virtual Reality Play: Oculus, NPR
- Radio panel discusses the impact of the Oculus purchase, featuring Jeremy Bailenson. MP3

The VR Experience That May Have Convinced Mark Zuckerberg to Buy Oculus, Mashable
- Weeks before Facebook announced that it had acquired virtual reality gaming headset manufacturer Oculus Rift, Mark Zuckerberg made a private visit to VHIL.

Virtual reality’s early adopters worry what mainstream usage will look like in the Facebook era, PBS Newshour
VHIL is exploring ways to harness virtual reality for positive effects, but Jeremy Bailenson in leery of VR in a commercial market. PDF


Sexualized avatars affect the real world, Stanford researchers find, Stanford Report
- Participants in a VHIL study who had worn sexualized avatars tended to agree with rape myths more than the women who had worn the non-sexualized avatars. PDF

Virtual Reality: the Terrors of Poe's Pit, the Joys of Michelangelo's David, PBS NewsHour
- VHIL technology tracks the position of head, hands and body accurately and frequently to create a realistic virtual experience. VIDEO

How Virtual Reality Games Can Impact Society, Encourage Prosperity, PBS NewsHour
- Economics correspondent Paul Solman visits VHIL and discovers how virtual reality can be used to transform society. VIDEO, PDF

If You Know How a Cow Feels, Will You Eat Less Meat?, Scientific American
- VHIL research hopes to uncover whether virtual reality can alter behaviors that tax the environment and contribute to climate change. PDF

Can Virtual Reality Make You a Better Person?, The Wall Street Journal
- Virtual reality, with the requisite head gear, can make you a more caring, helpful person, VHIL researchers say. VIDEO

Virtual Superheroes Are More Heroic In Real Life, Discovery News
- Participants who experienced the ability to fly in virtual reality were quicker to help in the real world than those who did not possess superpowers.

Stanford experiment shows that virtual superpowers encourage real-world empathy, Stanford Report
- While several studies have shown that playing violent videogames can encourage aggressive behavior, VHIL research suggests that games could be designed to train people to be more empathetic in the real world. VIDEO, PDF

It’s 10 P.M. Do You Know What Your Avatar Is Doing?, Pacific Standard
- VHIL research shows that the technologies of virtual interaction offer a powerful tool not just to explore human's cognitive biases—but also to strategically exploit them, for good or for ill. PDF


Holograms are here, from Tupac to Marilyn Monroe. Will you be next?, The Washington Post
- We haven’t begun to deal with the psychological, legal and financial implications of a hologrammed world. PDF

Catalyst: Avatars, ABC TV (Australia)
- What are the psychological consequences of spending more time in virtual worlds than in actual reality? That's what the Virtual Human Interaction Lab is dedicated to answering. Graham Phillips of ABC TV (Australia) explores Avatar research at VHIL. VIDEO

Virtual game of life, Bangkok Post
- VHIL is studying how gamification techniques can be applied in the workplace to improve employee performance. PDF

Real-world beaming: The risk of avatar and robot crime, BBC News
- VHIL is currently studying the impact of Kinect technology. Capturing an individual's gestures is potentially a powerful tool in the hands of an identity thief. Non-verbal behaviour, like the way you walk, is more revealing about you than what you decide to put on Facebook. PDF

Your Kinect Is Watching You: The amazing, disturbing things your gaming console can learn about you, Slate
- Game platforms like the Kinect continuously observe your nonverbal behavior. Movements and gestures may seem harmless to share with others, but decades of psychological research demonstrate that the way you move is more revealing than what you say. VHIL and other labs are starting to study what the Kinect and other gaming systems reveal about you. PDF

Avatars set to shape real-world habits , New Scientist
- The shift to a world where virtual experiences are common - and almost as intense and meaningful as real ones - presents powerful psychological opportunities. VHIL studies demonstrate how virtual worlds can translate to the physical world. PDF

Stanford lab makes virtual reality more life-like, SmartPlanet
- At the Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Professor Jeremy Bailenson has created a thoroughly convincing virtual reality environment. SmartPlanet's Sumi Das tours the lab to find out what technology makes it happen and how VR is likely to be used in the future. VIDEO

Take a tour of the virtual future at Stanford, Stanford Report
- VHIL researchers use their cutting-edge lab to predict what household technology is going to be like in the future and how that's going to affect people. Public tours of the recently renovated lab are now available. VIDEO, PDF


Beam me up, Scotty – for the future of sustainability, The Guardian
- VHIL uses avatars to help people understand climate change. PDF

Face Reality with Age-Morphed Photos, Wired Magazine
- Responding to VHIL research, Allianz plans to start offering age-mophed photos for 401(k) enrollees. PDF

Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Assn, Supreme Court of the United States
- Supreme Court Justice Alito quotes Infinite Reality in his concurring opinion concerning the future of video games: “Technological developments powering virtual worlds are accelerating, ensuring that virtual experiences will become more immersive by providing sensory information that makes people feel they are ‘inside’ virtual worlds" PDF

A Museum of Virtual Media: The brain doesn't much care whether an experience is real., Natural History Magazine
- Infinite Reality authors Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson imagine a hands-on Museum of the History of Virtual Reality Technology. PDF

The Reality of The Virtual, The Wall Street Journal
- When you put on the head-mounted display and chop down a virtual redwood, VHIL's haptic floor allows you to feel the forest shudder under foot. PDF

Infinite Reality - A Discussion with Jeremy Bailenson, KQED Forum
- What do digital virtual realities tell us about how the mind works? KQED radio program featuring the author of Infinite Reality. MP3

Plugging In: How Computer-To-Computer Trumps Face-To-Face, Psychology Today Magazine
- VHIL studies indicate that in the future mediated interactions will be more intimate than face-to-face ones.

Virtual Reality and Social Networks Will Be a Powerful Combination: Avatars will make social networks seductive is altering human behavior and social interactions, Los Angeles Times
- Blascovich and Bailenson are ideally situated to write this guide to the new world coming; they are scholars in the field who communicate complex ideas to readers without seeking refuge in techno jargon. PDF

Infinite Reality book review - The 'virtual revolution' is altering human behavior and social interactions, Los Angeles Times
- Blascovich and Bailenson are ideally situated to write this guide to the new world coming; they are scholars in the field who communicate complex ideas to readers without seeking refuge in techno jargon. PDF

Virtual Aging Photos May Offer Incentive To Save, CBS 5 ConsumerWatch
- Researchers at Stanford say having a clear visual image of how we might look like at retirement age could help us face reality and better plan for it. VIDEO

A Greener Future, Maclean's
- Infinite Reality authors say people will be able attend "virtual meetings" in the form of highly realistic three-dimensional avatars instead of paying the personal and environmental toll of flying across the country. PDF

Virtual reality alters real world behavior, APM Marketplace Tech Report
- In VHIL researcher Grace Ahn's study, participants used less paper after cutting down a virtual tree. MP3, PDF

3-D Avatars Could Put You in Two Places at Once, The New York Times
- In their new book, Infinite Reality, Dr. Blascovich and Dr. Bailenson insist that 3-D conferences with avatars are nigh because consumer technology has suddenly caught up with the work going on in their virtual-reality laboratories in academia. PDF, VIDEO

Seeing is Believing: A new book examines how virtual reality is impacting our lives and culture, Brain World
- Virtual Reality fools the brain into believing that digital events are actually ocurring - Brain World interviews Infinite Reality co-author Jeremy Bailenson.

New virtual reality research – and a new lab – at Stanford, Stanford Report
- Cutting down a virtual redwood with a virtual chainsaw may lead you to save trees by recycling more paper. That finding is an example of how real-world behavior can be changed by immersing people in virtual reality environments – a notion that is at the heart of work under way in Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab. VIDEO, PDF

Meet 'Future You.' Like What You See?, The Wall Street Journal
- To increase retirement investment by young people researchers are tapping into the Proteus effect, behavioral alterations in the real world that are triggered by changes in how our bodies appear to us in a virtual world. VIDEO, PDF

Your Avatar, Your Guide: Seeing a digital doppelgänger can change your mind—for better or worse, Scientific American
- VHIL is exploring how doppelgänger avatars can be effective in advertising or in therapy to clients who have phobias or social anxiety. PDF

Virtual Self, NSF Science Nation
- Evidence from VHIL research on Avatars suggest that you start to become the idealized person you imagine. VIDEO, PDF

Separation Anxiety: Now that there's no escaping the digital world, research is getting more serious about what happens to personalities that are incessantly on, Stanford Magazine
- VHIL research in the areas of politics and education show how Avatars offer the possibility of self-presenting much more effectively. PDF


Virtual Reality Study Encourages Subjects to Save for the Future, ABC World News
- Hal Ersner-Hershfield's VHIL study, conducted with the Stanford Center of Longevity, shows subjects in an "aging mirror" allowing them to see what they'll look like when they reach retirement. PDF, VIDEO

In Cybertherapy, Avatars Assist With Healing, The New York Times
- VHIL studies show that people psychologically internalize their virtual experiences. PDF

Morality: Do your worst, virtually, New Scientist
- How immersive virtual reality can be used as a tool to study moral dilemmas, including VHIL research on moral identity PDF

Virtual Lookers and Losers, Stanford Report
- Several VHIL studies show that people have trouble shedding appearence bias, even when interacting with avatars. PDF

Hey, is that avatar lying to me?, CNN SciTechBlog
- VHIL projects demonstrate how difficult it is to tell when someone is portraying a genuine version of themselves in a virtual world. PDF

Real fear in a virtual world, CNN SciTechBlog
- VHIL researcher Kathryn Segovia says people have real, emotional reactions to virtual reality. Virtual environments could be used to help with a person's fear of heights, or help someone with an eating disorder. PDF

Can avatars change the way we think and act?, Stanford Report
- VHIL researcher Jesse Fox shows how Avatars can change the way we exercise and eat, or the way we view women. PDF, VIDEO


Cameron's Avatar and Stanford: Beyond Sigourney Weaver's tank top, The Dish
- Movie plotline synchs with VHIL research of virtual worlds and human behavior. PDF

The Virtual Self, USC Annenberg Program on Online Communities Speaker Series
- Bailenson sums up the current research of the lab in an hour-long talk at the Annenberg School of Communication. VIDEO

Putting VR to Work, PBS Frontline
- Jeremy Bailenson, the director of Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, details other uses of the virtual, from putting soldiers in Iraqi shoes to helping autistic kids socialize. VIDEO

The Avatar Effect, PBS Frontline
- Frontline visited Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab to find out how all that time online affects our real lives. VIDEO

Stanford's virtual reality experiments transport knowledge to new vistas, San Jose Mercury News
- VHIL is studying ways a digital world intersects with the real one in places as familiar to almost everyone as Facebook and Nintendo's Wii. PDF

Testing virtual reality in the classroom, APA Monitor on Psychology
- In a range of studies, VHIL is showing that manipulating virtual versions of the teacher and classroom environment can help students pay attention and perform better. PDF

Portrait of an Artist as an Avatar, New York Times Magazine
- Scientists at Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab have found that avatars, with their artificial beauty and fantastical lifestyles, may represent more than wishful thinking on the part of the real people who create them. PDF

Reality Bytes, AmericanWay Magazine
- Professor Jeremy Bailenson and his graduate students are demonstrating how online lives affect off-line behavior, challenging a long-held assumption that it’s the other way around. PDF


Standing in Someone Else's Shoes, Almost for Real, The New York Times
- The evidence that inhabiting another’s perspective can change behavior comes in part from VHIL virtual reality experiments. PDF

Weird Connections – Mimicry, Discovery
- People spend many hours a week interacting with digital others. VHIL uses the virtual world as a tool to understand the implications of this new form of social interaction. VIDEO

Digital Selves, KALW Philosophy Talk
- Jeremy Bailenson is featured on Public Radio's "Philosophy Talk". Intro, MP3

Vote for You!, ABC News ScienCentral
- Can facial similarity determine the result of a presidential election? VHIL face morphing research suggests that voters make decisions about candidates on very superficial features. VIDEO

Virtual Reality Check, NBC The Today Show
- If your avatar looks different from you, perhaps in some ideal way, how does that make you behave? The Today Show profiles VHIL virtual reality exercise research. VIDEO

How Second Life Affects Real Life, Time Magazine
- Bailenson's research suggests that the qualities you acquire online — whether it's confidence or insecurity — can spill over and change your conduct in the real world. PDF

Learning from the Virtual You, NPR All Things Considered
- Andrea Seabrook speaks with Jeremy Bailenson about his research into how people interact psychologically with their virtual-reality representations. MP3

Researchers Say Voters Swayed by Candidates Who Share Their Looks, Stanford Report
- VHIL experiments during presidential and gubernatorial elections indicate that facial similarity is enough to clinch votes. PDF, VIDEO

The Avatar's Influence, The Chronicle of Higher Education
- VHIL research shows that what people do in virtual reality doesn't always stay in virtual reality. Issue also features an opinion piece by Jeremy Bailenson on the benefits of virtual classrooms.

Seeing Is Believing: Maybe virtual reality isn't just a game anymore. Maybe its a way to build a better you., Stanford Magazine
- In Jeremy Bailenson's virtual reality lab, researchers are testing whether avatars can tell us something deeper about human behavior. PDF

Confidence Game, Boston Globe
- Mimicry, according to VHIL research, is a powerful tool to capture our trust. PDF

The (Not So) Real World, Palo Alto Weekly
- Yee and Bailenson found that people will conform to the expectations and stereotypes of the identity of their avatars.. PDF

Our Imaginary, Hotter Selves, Newsweek
- Proteus effect research at VHIL – the effect of appearance on behavior carries over from the virtual world to the real one. PDF

Study Links Voters' Choices to Facial Features, Stanford Daily PDF

You Remind Me of Me, The New York Times
- VHIL is testing the effects of different forms of mimicry using avatars. PDF, VIDEO


The Promise of Parallel Universes, Science Magazine
- The Virtual Human Interaction Lab is featured in Science Magazine's special issue on virtual worlds. PDF, VIDEO

Virtual becomes reality at Stanford, San Francisco Chronicle
- How does the human identity change now that we're digital? An overview of VHIL studies and videotaped tour of the lab. PDF, VIDEO

Is This Man Cheating on His Wife?, The Wall Street Journal
- VHIL experiment shows that people socializing in virtual worlds remain sensitive to subtle cues like eye contact. PDF

Rethinking Old Age, Forbes
- VHIL digitally ages people to help them identify with their older selves. PDF

The Patt Morrison show, KPCC Public Radio
- Jeremy Bailenson discusses the psychology of Second Life participants. MP3

When the Virtual You Changes the Real You, Scientific American
- "60 second psych" on Jesse Fox's VHIL exercise experiment. PDF, MP3

How Politicians Will Con Second Life Residents, Telegraph UK
- Potential impacts of VHIL research on face morphing in virtual environments. PDF

The Mind-Bending New World Of Work: Reading Your Mood, Business Week
- Jeremy Bailenson and Clifford Nass investigate the expressions drivers typically have five seconds before they fall asleep. PDF

Study: Virtual Men Are Standoffish Too, ABC News
- VHIL Second Life study indicates that interaction in virtual envirionments are governed by the same social norms as in the physical world. PDF

Viral and Virtual, The Economist, PDF

The Coming Virtual Web, Business Week PDF

Don't Stand So Close to Me, NPR Bryant Park Project
- Nick Yee/VHIL featured in a video about personal space in Second Life. VIDEO

Stanford Lab Makes It a Reality: The Virtual Human Interaction Lab Uses Virtual Reality to Study Human Social Behaviors, Stanford Daily PDF


Great Minds in Development: Manipulating Society through Technology, DevSource
- How does the world change when you have five arms? Jeremy Bailenson is interviewed in the "Great Minds in Development" video series. PDF

Concept of 'Personal Space' Survives in Virtual Reality, Nature
- With thousands of people using Second Life at any one time, Nick Yee and colleagues at VHIL realised it presented a chance to assess whether users interacted in similar ways to people in the real world. PDF

Weekend America, NPR
- Jeremy Bailenson discusses the Proteus effect in radio interview. Do people behave consistent with their digital or virtual self? MP3

News & Issues, KBS1
- Korean Broadcast System broadcast features VHIL research. VIDEO

What's in a Face? Testing the Familiarity-Likeability Connection, Washington Post
- VHIL collaborates with PCL and the Washington Post in face morphing experiment. PDF

Beyond Tomorrow, Discovery Channel
- VHIL face tracking research featured in Australian series. VIDEO

In Certain Circles, Two Is a Crowd, The New York Times, PDF

Framing Science: Advances in Theory and Technology are Fueling a New Era in the Science of Persuasion, The Observer, PDF

Future Summit: Virtual Worlds, CNN, VIDEO

For a New Personality, Click Here, New Scientist, PDF

Jaron Lanier on "Homonucular Flexibility", Edge, PDF

Avatar-Based Marketing, Harvard Business Review, PDF

2005 -

AI Seduces Stanford Students, Wired
- VHIL research demonstrates that the "chameleon effect" persists in digital environments. PDF

Virtual Criminals, Stanford Technology Brainstorm
Sometimes Jeremy Bailenson, the director of VHIL, turns his workplace into a crime scene. PDF

Imitation Makes Digital Characters More Lifelike, New Scientist, PDF

Step Into A World Where Reality Is Not As It Seems, Stanford Daily, PDF

Don't Tell Me Again: The Look-Alike Vote, Washington Post, PDF

Transformed Social Interaction in Virtual Reality: Nonverbal Chameleons, 2004 Media X Presentation PDF

Better Than Being There: Augmented Social Interaction in Virtual Reality, 2003 Media X Presentation PDF