The Effects of Virtual Reality on Ailurofobia


Specific phobia is a type of childhood anxiety disorders that affects 20% of children and adolescents worldwide. Therefore, more in-depth research is necessary, especially considering the progressions in tools within the latest technology. The current study tested virtual reality to explore its function in substituting the fear stimulus in people with specific phobia. Given that the goal of this study is to provide both qualitative descriptions and quantitative statistics, the mixed-method research design used in it is seen to be the most efficient. The subjects included young adults that undergo ailurophobia, or a severe fear of cats. Snowball sampling instrument is employed for the sampling using scale (Severity Measure for Specific Phobia-Adult). The findings show that encountering a cat in real life and in virtual reality had no different levels of fear, which means virtual reality is capable of substituting the role of a real cat. In most statements, the participants claimed that the virtual reality cat animation made them fear for their safety.

Keywords: ailurophobia, virtual reality

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