Can Virtual Reality Make Us Show More Empathy?

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Can Virtual Reality Make Us Show More Empathy?
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Scientists from Stanford University created a virtual reality experience called Becoming Homeless to enhance our empathy. It’s designed to show how new tech affects us in compassionate ways and increase “people’s level of empathy.”

The new Stanford study on virtual reality and empathy was published in the journal PLOS ONE on Oct. 17. The study and VR look at some heart-wrenching experiences and ask upsetting questions. What would it feel like for people to lose their jobs and homes, and what would cause them to grow compassionate and empathetic toward homeless people?

“Experiences are what define us as humans, so it’s not surprising that an intense experience in VR is more impactful than imagining something,” communications professor and study co-author Jeremy Bailenson said in a statement.

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