Shared Virtual Reality Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic : Exploring the Gratifications and Effects of Engagement with Immersive Videos

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number5056
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number9
Online published21 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

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Abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recent economic recession have been impacting many people’s mental health. The experience of social distancing created new hardships for people who already reported symptoms of depression or anxiety. In these circumstances, new technologies, such as immersive virtual reality (VR) videos, could serve as useful tools for facilitating interac-tions, emotional sharing, and information processing within a virtual environment. In this study, researchers aimed to enrich the information processing literature by focusing on the uses and gratifications of 360-degree VR videos during the pandemic. Through employing survey research with 1422 participants located in the U.S. and structural equation modeling for data analysis, this study found that five types of gratification, including utilitarian (i.e., navigation), hedonic (i.e., enjoyment), sensual (i.e., realism), social (i.e., community), and symbolic (i.e., coolness), significantly motivated users to use such immersive videos. Simultaneously, data demonstrated that these five types of gratification could influence users’ cognitive engagement with virtual content. In addition, such VR engagement facilitated users’ positive attitudes toward immersive videos and continued usage of them. The findings provided practical implications for COVID-19 global recovery as well.

Research Area(s)

  • COVID-19, engagement, global recovery, gratifications, immersive videos, virtual reality

Citation Format(s)

Shared Virtual Reality Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic : Exploring the Gratifications and Effects of Engagement with Immersive Videos. / Cheng, Yang; Wang, Yuan; Zhao, Wen.

In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 19, No. 9, 5056, 05.2022.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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