Stanford University

Immersion at Scale:
Researcher’s Guide to Ecologically Valid Mobile Experiments

Oh, S. Y., Shriram, K., Laha, B., Baughman, S., Ogle, E., Bailenson, J. (2016). Immersion at Scale: Researcher’s Guide to Ecologically Valid Mobile Experiments. Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality (VR).

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Abstract

While there have been hundreds of psychological studies using virtual reality (VR) over the past few decades, those studies have almost exclusively been conducted in laboratory settings using small samples of college students with little demographic variance. Hence, the generalizability of the results is limited, as not all findings will apply outside the college demographic. In this paper, we present our mobile VR project (Immersion at Scale) where we conduct VR experiment sessions in naturalistic settings (e.g.,local events, museums, etc.). On average, we were able to collect data from 20-25 people for each 4-hour data collection session of Immersion at Scale. We discovered a number of obstacles and opportunities based on bringing VR out into the field. Thus, we do not focus on experimental stimuli and results, but methodological guidelines based on our iterative design improvements from pilot testing.

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