Virtual Transcendent Dream


Flying dreams have the poten­tial to evoke a feel­ing of empow­er­ment (or self-efficacy, con­fi­dence in our abil­ity to suc­ceed) and self-transcendent expe­ri­ence (STE), which have been shown to con­tribute to an individual’s over­all well-being. However, these excep­tional dream­ing expe­ri­ences remain dif­fi­cult to induce at will. Inspired by the poten­tial of Virtual Reality (VR) to sup­port pro­found emo­tional expe­ri­ences, we explored if a VR flying inter­face with more embod­ied self-motion cues could con­tribute to the ben­e­fits asso­ci­ated with flying dreams (i.e., STE and empow­er­ment). Our results indi­cated that a flying inter­face with more self-motion cues indeed better sup­ported STE and empow­er­ment. We derived sev­eral design con­sid­er­a­tions: obscu­rity, extra­or­di­nary light and sup­port­ive set­ting. Our results con­tribute to the dis­course around design guide­lines for self-transcendence and empow­er­ment in VR, which may fur­ther be applied to the improve­ment of mental well-being.

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Liu, P., Stepanova, E. R., Kitson, A. J., Schiphorst, T., & Riecke, B. E. (2022). Virtual Transcendent Dream: Empowering People through Embodied Flying in Virtual Reality. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–18. (Download)