The enemy's gaze: Immersive virtual environments enhance peace promoting attitudes and emotions in violent intergroup conflicts
Hasson, Y.; Schori-Eyal, N.; Landau, D.; Hasler, B.éa.S.; Levy, J.; Friedman, D.; Halperin, E.
Plos one 14(9): E0222342
Perspective-taking is essential for improving intergroup relations. However, it is difficult to implement, especially in violent conflicts. Given that immersive virtual reality (VR) can simulate various points of view (POV), we examined whether it can lead to beneficial outcomes by promoting outgroup perspective-taking, even in armed conflicts. In two studies, Jewish-Israelis watched a 360° VR scene depicting an Israeli-Palestinian confrontation from different POVs-outgroup's, ingroup's while imagining outgroup perspective or ingroup's without imagined perspective-taking. Participants immersed in the outgroup's POV, but not those who imagined the outgroup's perspective, perceived the Palestinians more positively than those immersed in the ingroup's POV. Moreover, participants in the outgroup's POV perceived the Palestinian population in general more favorably and judged a real-life ingroup transgression more strictly than those in the ingroup's POV, even five months after VR intervention. Results suggest that VR can promote conflict resolution by enabling effective perspective-taking.