Offenders become the victim in virtual reality: impact of changing perspective in domestic violence

S Seinfeld, J Arroyo-Palacios, G Iruretagoyena, R Hortensius, L E Zapata, D Borland, B de Gelder, M Slater, M V Sanchez-Vives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The role of empathy and perspective-taking in preventing aggressive behaviors has been highlighted in several theoretical models. In this study, we used immersive virtual reality to induce a full body ownership illusion that allows offenders to be in the body of a victim of domestic abuse. A group of male domestic violence offenders and a control group without a history of violence experienced a virtual scene of abuse in first-person perspective. During the virtual encounter, the participants' real bodies were replaced with a life-sized virtual female body that moved synchronously with their own real movements. Participants' emotion recognition skills were assessed before and after the virtual experience. Our results revealed that offenders have a significantly lower ability to recognize fear in female faces compared to controls, with a bias towards classifying fearful faces as happy. After being embodied in a female victim, offenders improved their ability to recognize fearful female faces and reduced their bias towards recognizing fearful faces as happy. For the first time, we demonstrate that changing the perspective of an aggressive population through immersive virtual reality can modify socio-perceptual processes such as emotion recognition, thought to underlie this specific form of aggressive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2692
Pages (from-to)2692
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Journal Article
  • FEAR
  • SOCIAL DESIRABILITY
  • IMPLICIT RACIAL BIAS
  • METAANALYSIS
  • RECOGNITION
  • EMPATHY
  • INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
  • MIRROR-TOUCH SYNESTHESIA
  • OWNERSHIP
  • FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

Cite this

Seinfeld, S., Arroyo-Palacios, J., Iruretagoyena, G., Hortensius, R., Zapata, L. E., Borland, D., ... Sanchez-Vives, M. V. (2018). Offenders become the victim in virtual reality: impact of changing perspective in domestic violence. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 2692. [2692]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19987-7
Seinfeld, S ; Arroyo-Palacios, J ; Iruretagoyena, G ; Hortensius, R ; Zapata, L E ; Borland, D ; de Gelder, B ; Slater, M ; Sanchez-Vives, M V. / Offenders become the victim in virtual reality : impact of changing perspective in domestic violence. In: Scientific Reports. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 2692.
@article{3609fbb3f57f4a4e8af5fbd7e555a3c3,
title = "Offenders become the victim in virtual reality: impact of changing perspective in domestic violence",
abstract = "The role of empathy and perspective-taking in preventing aggressive behaviors has been highlighted in several theoretical models. In this study, we used immersive virtual reality to induce a full body ownership illusion that allows offenders to be in the body of a victim of domestic abuse. A group of male domestic violence offenders and a control group without a history of violence experienced a virtual scene of abuse in first-person perspective. During the virtual encounter, the participants' real bodies were replaced with a life-sized virtual female body that moved synchronously with their own real movements. Participants' emotion recognition skills were assessed before and after the virtual experience. Our results revealed that offenders have a significantly lower ability to recognize fear in female faces compared to controls, with a bias towards classifying fearful faces as happy. After being embodied in a female victim, offenders improved their ability to recognize fearful female faces and reduced their bias towards recognizing fearful faces as happy. For the first time, we demonstrate that changing the perspective of an aggressive population through immersive virtual reality can modify socio-perceptual processes such as emotion recognition, thought to underlie this specific form of aggressive behaviors.",
keywords = "Journal Article, FEAR, SOCIAL DESIRABILITY, IMPLICIT RACIAL BIAS, METAANALYSIS, RECOGNITION, EMPATHY, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, MIRROR-TOUCH SYNESTHESIA, OWNERSHIP, FACIAL EXPRESSIONS",
author = "S Seinfeld and J Arroyo-Palacios and G Iruretagoyena and R Hortensius and Zapata, {L E} and D Borland and {de Gelder}, B and M Slater and Sanchez-Vives, {M V}",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "9",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-018-19987-7",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "2692",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "1",

}

Seinfeld, S, Arroyo-Palacios, J, Iruretagoyena, G, Hortensius, R, Zapata, LE, Borland, D, de Gelder, B, Slater, M & Sanchez-Vives, MV 2018, 'Offenders become the victim in virtual reality: impact of changing perspective in domestic violence', Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 1, 2692, pp. 2692. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19987-7

Offenders become the victim in virtual reality : impact of changing perspective in domestic violence. / Seinfeld, S; Arroyo-Palacios, J; Iruretagoyena, G; Hortensius, R; Zapata, L E; Borland, D; de Gelder, B; Slater, M; Sanchez-Vives, M V.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2692, 09.02.2018, p. 2692.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Offenders become the victim in virtual reality

T2 - impact of changing perspective in domestic violence

AU - Seinfeld, S

AU - Arroyo-Palacios, J

AU - Iruretagoyena, G

AU - Hortensius, R

AU - Zapata, L E

AU - Borland, D

AU - de Gelder, B

AU - Slater, M

AU - Sanchez-Vives, M V

PY - 2018/2/9

Y1 - 2018/2/9

N2 - The role of empathy and perspective-taking in preventing aggressive behaviors has been highlighted in several theoretical models. In this study, we used immersive virtual reality to induce a full body ownership illusion that allows offenders to be in the body of a victim of domestic abuse. A group of male domestic violence offenders and a control group without a history of violence experienced a virtual scene of abuse in first-person perspective. During the virtual encounter, the participants' real bodies were replaced with a life-sized virtual female body that moved synchronously with their own real movements. Participants' emotion recognition skills were assessed before and after the virtual experience. Our results revealed that offenders have a significantly lower ability to recognize fear in female faces compared to controls, with a bias towards classifying fearful faces as happy. After being embodied in a female victim, offenders improved their ability to recognize fearful female faces and reduced their bias towards recognizing fearful faces as happy. For the first time, we demonstrate that changing the perspective of an aggressive population through immersive virtual reality can modify socio-perceptual processes such as emotion recognition, thought to underlie this specific form of aggressive behaviors.

AB - The role of empathy and perspective-taking in preventing aggressive behaviors has been highlighted in several theoretical models. In this study, we used immersive virtual reality to induce a full body ownership illusion that allows offenders to be in the body of a victim of domestic abuse. A group of male domestic violence offenders and a control group without a history of violence experienced a virtual scene of abuse in first-person perspective. During the virtual encounter, the participants' real bodies were replaced with a life-sized virtual female body that moved synchronously with their own real movements. Participants' emotion recognition skills were assessed before and after the virtual experience. Our results revealed that offenders have a significantly lower ability to recognize fear in female faces compared to controls, with a bias towards classifying fearful faces as happy. After being embodied in a female victim, offenders improved their ability to recognize fearful female faces and reduced their bias towards recognizing fearful faces as happy. For the first time, we demonstrate that changing the perspective of an aggressive population through immersive virtual reality can modify socio-perceptual processes such as emotion recognition, thought to underlie this specific form of aggressive behaviors.

KW - Journal Article

KW - FEAR

KW - SOCIAL DESIRABILITY

KW - IMPLICIT RACIAL BIAS

KW - METAANALYSIS

KW - RECOGNITION

KW - EMPATHY

KW - INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE

KW - MIRROR-TOUCH SYNESTHESIA

KW - OWNERSHIP

KW - FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-018-19987-7

DO - 10.1038/s41598-018-19987-7

M3 - Article

C2 - 29426819

VL - 8

SP - 2692

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

IS - 1

M1 - 2692

ER -

Seinfeld S, Arroyo-Palacios J, Iruretagoyena G, Hortensius R, Zapata LE, Borland D et al. Offenders become the victim in virtual reality: impact of changing perspective in domestic violence. Scientific Reports. 2018 Feb 9;8(1):2692. 2692. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-19987-7