Advertisement

Virtual-Reality Music-Based Elicitation of Awe: When Silence Is Better Than Thousands Sounds

  • Alice ChiricoEmail author
  • Andrea Gaggioli
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 288)

Abstract

Several researches have revealed the potential of awe, a complex emotion arising from vast stimuli able to prompt for a restructuration of people’ mental schema, on wellbeing and health. Despite a lot has been revealed about awe, researchers still face the challenge of eliciting intense instances of awe in a controlled way. A combination of two or more emotion-induction techniques can enhance the intensity of the resulting emotion. VR has resulted as one of the best techniques to elicit awe, but it has never been tested in combination with other effective awe-inducing methods, such as music. Here, we tested the combined effect of VR and music on the resulting awe’s intensity. We randomly assigned 76 healthy participants to one of these four conditions: (i) VR with background sounds (ii) VR and Music, (iii) only Music; (iv) VR without sounds. VR environments and music have been validated in previous studies on awe. Before the exposure to each stimulus, we asked participants to rate the extent to which they felt (i.e., experienced) seven emotions. After the exposure, we measured also how much participants perceived (i.e., they “read” it into the emotional material) each of the seven emotions, as well as their general affect (Positive and Negative Affective Schedule), their sense of presence (i.e., how much participants felt to be “present” within a scene) (ITC-SOPI Inventory), the sense of perceived vastness and need for accommodation associated to the stimulus material (Brief Awe-Scale). We also assessed also participants’ disposition to live seven discrete positive emotions (Dispositional Positive Emotions Scale) and musical preferences (STOMP). “VR with Music” condition elicited a higher (even not significant) sense of ecological validity compared to Music condition. All conditions elicited significantly higher sense of felt awe, joy, and fear compared to the baseline and a significantly lower anger after each condition. Participants in the Music condition felt a lowest sense of amusement after the exposure. We found no effect of condition on felt awe. Conversely, perceived awe was significantly higher in the “VR and Music” condition compared to the Music condition. “VR without sounds” condition elicited significantly higher sense of fear compared to Music condition, and significantly lower sense of pride and sadness compared to Music condition. We found no significant effect for any covariate variable. These results have relevant implications for fundamental research on awe and to design awe-based training enhancing wellbeing health, or targeting severe emotional disorders, such as Depression.

Keywords

Awe Emotion-induction Virtual reality Music Wellbeing Perceived emotions Felt emotions Silence 

References

  1. 1.
    Chirico, A., et al.: Awe enhances creative thinking: an experimental study. Creat. Res. J. 30, 123–131 (2018)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lench, H.C., Flores, S.A., Bench, S.W.: Discrete emotions predict changes in cognition, judgment, experience, behavior, and physiology: a meta-analysis of experimental emotion elicitations. Psychol. Bull. 137(5), 834 (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    DeSteno, D., et al.: Discrete emotions and persuasion: the role of emotion-induced expectancies. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 86(1), 43 (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nabi, R.L.: Exploring the framing effects of emotion: do discrete emotions differentially influence information accessibility, information seeking, and policy preference? Commun. Res. 30(2), 224–247 (2003)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Frijda, N.H.: Emotions and action. In: Feelings and emotions: the Amsterdam symposium (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lewis, M., Haviland-Jones, J.M., Barrett, L.F.: Handbook of Emotions. Guilford Press, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dalgleish, T., Power, M.: Handbook of Cognition and Emotion. Wiley, New York (2000)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bradley, M.M., Lang, P.J.: Emotion and motivation. Handb. Psychophysiol. 2, 602–642 (2000)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    James, W.: What is an Emotion? Mind 9(34), 188–205 (1884)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Barrett, L.F.: How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston (2017)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nummenmaa, L., Niemi, P.: Inducing affective states with success-failure manipulations: A meta-analysis. Emotion 4(2), 207 (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ellard, K.K., Farchione, T.J., Barlow, D.H.: Relative effectiveness of emotion induction procedures and the role of personal relevance in a clinical sample: a comparison of film, images, and music. J. Psychopathol. Behav. Assess. 34(2), 232–243 (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fakhrhosseini, S.M., Jeon, M.: Affect/emotion induction methods. In: Emotions and Affect in Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 235–253. Elsevier (2017)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mills, C., D’Mello, S.: On the validity of the autobiographical emotional memory task for emotion induction. PLoS ONE 9(4), e95837 (2014)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Västfjäll, D.: Emotion induction through music: a review of the musical mood induction procedure. Musicae Sci. 5(1_suppl), 173–211 (2001)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gerrards-Hesse, A., Spies, K., Hesse, F.W.: Experimental inductions of emotional states and their effectiveness: a review. Br. J. Psychol. 85(1), 55–78 (1994)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Park, B.-J., et al.: Emotion induction and emotion recognition using their physiological signals. In: 2012 7th International Conference on Computing and Convergence Technology (ICCCT). IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Westermann, R., Stahl, G., Hesse, F.: Relative effectiveness and validity of mood induction procedures: analysis. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 26, 557–580 (1996)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lench, H.C., Flores, S.A., Bench, S.W.: Discrete Emotions Predict Changes in Cognition, Judgment, Experience, Behavior, and Physiology: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental Emotion Elicitations. American Psychological Association (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ferrer, R.A., Grenen, E.G., Taber, J.M.: Effectiveness of internet-based affect induction procedures: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Emotion 15(6), 752 (2015)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jallais, C., Gilet, A.-L.: Inducing changes in arousal and valence: comparison of two mood induction procedures. Behav. Res. Methods 42(1), 318–325 (2010)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chirico, A., et al.: The potential of virtual reality for the investigation of awe. Front. Psychol. 7, 1766 (2016)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Chirico, A., Gaggioli, A.: Awe: more than a feeling. Humanistic Psychol. 46, 274–280 (2018)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Chirico, A., Cipresso, P., Riva, G., Gaggioli, A.: A process for selecting and validating awe-inducing audio-visual stimuli. In: Oliver, N., Serino, S., Matic, A., Cipresso, P., Filipovic, N., Gavrilovska, L. (eds.) MindCare/FABULOUS/IIOT 2015-2016. LNICST, vol. 207, pp. 19–27. Springer, Cham (2018).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74935-8_3Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Chirico, A., Cipresso, P., Gaggioli, A.: Psychophysiological correlate of compex spherical awe stimuli. Neuropsychol. Trends 33, 79–80 (2016)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chirico, A., et al.: Effectiveness of immersive videos in inducing awe: an experimental study. Sci. Rep. 7(1), 1218 (2017)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Chirico, A., et al.: designing awe in virtual reality: an experimental study. Front. Psychol. 8, 2351 (2018)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ballew, M.T., Omoto, A.M.: Absorption: how nature experiences promote awe and other positive emotions. Ecopsychology 10(1), 26–35 (2018)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Prade, C., Saroglou, V.: Awe’s effects on generosity and helping. J. Posit. Psychol. 11, 1–9 (2016)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Yaden, D.B., et al.: The development of the awe experience scale (AWE-S): a multifactorial measure for a complex emotion. J. Posit. Psychol. 14, 1–15 (2018)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Gordon, A.M., et al.: The dark side of the sublime: distinguishing a threat-based variant of awe. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 102, 70–717 (2016)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Bonner, E., Friedman, H.: A conceptual clarification of the experience of awe: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Humanist. Psychol. 39(3), 222–235 (2011)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Schneider, K.: The resurgence of awe in psychology: Promise, hope, and perils. Humanistic Psychol. 45(2), 103 (2017)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Chirico, A., Yaden, David B.: Awe: a self-transcendent and sometimes transformative emotion. In: Lench, Heather C. (ed.) The Function of Emotions, pp. 221–233. Springer, Cham (2018).  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77619-4_11Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rudd, M., Vohs, K.D., Aaker, J.: Awe expands people’s perception of time, alters decision making, and enhances well-being. Psychol. Sci. 23(10), 1130–1136 (2012)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Stellar, J.E., et al.: Positive affect and markers of inflammation: discrete positive emotions predict lower levels of inflammatory cytokines. Emotion 15(2), 129 (2015)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Krause, N., Hayward, R.D.: Assessing whether practical wisdom and awe of god are associated with life satisfaction. Psychol. Relig. Spirit. 7(1), 51 (2015)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Piff, P.K., et al.: Awe, the small self, and prosocial behavior. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 108(6), 883 (2015)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Stegemoeller, B.: Collective Awe and Prosocial Behavior, p. 27. DePaul University Honors Program (2016)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Yang, Y., et al.: Elicited awe decreases aggression. J. Pac. Rim Psychol. 10 (2016)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Tarani, E.: Affective and Cognitive Effects of Awe in Predicting Hopelessness and Brooding Rumination (2017). Master's Theses. p. 4824.  https://doi.org/10.31979/etd.v6td-4d7s, https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/etd_theses/4824
  42. 42.
    Chirico, A., Gaggioli, A.: When virtual feels real: comparing emotional responses and presence in virtual and natural environments. Cyberpsychol., Behav. Soci. Netw. 22, 82–96 (2019)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Baumgartner, T., et al.: The emotional power of music: how music enhances the feeling of affective pictures. Brain Res. 1075(1), 151–164 (2006)Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Silvia, P.J., et al.: Openness to experience and awe in response to nature and music: personality and profound aesthetic experiences. Psychol. Aesthet. Creat. Arts 9(4), 376–384 (2015)Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Pilgrim, L., Norris, J.I., Hackathorn, J.: Music is awesome: influences of emotion, personality, and preference on experienced awe. J. Consum. Behav. 16, 442–451 (2017)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Rentfrow, P.J., Gosling, S.D.: The do re mi’s of everyday life: the structure and personality correlates of music preferences. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 84(6), 1236 (2003)Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Ubbiali, A., Carlo, C., Hampton, P., Deborah, D.: Italian big five inventory. Psychometric properties of the italian adaptation of the big five inventory (BFI). Appl. Psychol. Bull. 59(266), 37 (2013)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Shiota, M.N., Keltner, D., John, O.P.: Positive emotion dispositions differentially associated with big five personality and attachment style. J. Posit. Psychol. 1(2), 61–71 (2006)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Gabrielsson, A.: Emotion perceived and emotion felt: Same or different? Musicae Sci. 5(1 suppl), 123–147 (2002)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Terraciano, A., McCrae, R.R., Costa Jr., P.T.: Factorial and construct validity of the Italian positive and negative affect schedule (PANAS). Eur. J. Psychol. Assess. 19(2), 131 (2003)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Lessiter, J., et al.: A cross-media presence questionnaire: the ITC-sense of presence inventory. Presence 10(3), 282–297 (2001)Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Liljeström, S., Juslin, P.N.: The roles of music choice, social context, and listener personality in emotional reactions to music: A listening experiment (2011)Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Schubert, E.: Emotion felt by the listener and expressed by the music: literature review and theoretical perspectives. Front. Psychol. 4, 837 (2013)Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Chirico, A., Cipresso, P., Gaggioli, A.: Psychophysiological specificity of four basic emotions through autobiographical recall and videos. In: 7th EAI International Symposium on Pervasive Computing Paradigms for Mental Health 2018, 9–10 January 2018, Boston, USAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversità Cattolica Del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly
  2. 2.Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology LabIstituto Auxologico ItalianoMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations