A digital healthcare revolution is changing the human experience. Virtual reality (VR) or immersive technology is creating a significant leap in the health and wellbeing space—transforming healthcare by leveraging technology. The therapeutic use of VR can assist us in living the good life—the healthy life. Technology used in this way may hold the key to teaching us how to deconstruct fear and anxiety—the experience of suffering—and enhance our wellbeing. Because VR can evoke a cognitive state, researchers are measuring the behavioral responses.
Medicine promises to become the biggest vertical market for the use of VR. Recent research has demonstrated that VR is changing healthcare outcomes by structuring it—by augmenting it—by replacing it. Dr. Durnell discusses how advances in virtual reality are changing patient results.
Speaking at APA on In Group/ Out group Bias and how virtual reality (VR) can bring insight into this form of favoritism toward one's own group or derogation of another group. An in-group is a group of people who identify with each other based on a variety of factors including gender, race, religion, or geography. The tendency to distinguish between in-group and out-group members has moral implications.
Research suggests greater emotional engagement increases empathy and decreases cognitive resistance to behavioral and attitudinal change. Dr. Durnell argues that viewing emotional content in VR can provoke emotional reactions that are the precursors to behavioral, attitudinal and social change.
Dr. Durnell teaches at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, the topic of Consumer Behavior, which focuses on consumers’ decision making based on theoretical and empirical findings from psychology, anthropology, and sociology and includes engagement, emotions, and social influences. Also explored is consumer behavior analysis on marketing strategies, market segmentation/positioning, brand loyalty, the persuasion process, and promotion. Ethical and moral motivations and the impact on social change are discussed.