Using virtual reality for anger control
Virtual reality may be an effective strategy for anger control in aggressive individuals. An immersive virtual-reality anger control training program can reduce the level of anger provoked, according to a new study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
Jae-Jin Kim, MD, Ph.D., from Yonsei University, Seoul Republic of Korea, and coauthors, divided 60 young male participants into two groups: the high and low aggression groups. They exposed them to the virtual reality-based Anger Exposure Training and Mindfulness Training. The Anger Exposure Training was comprised of virtual environments designed to provoke anger as well as of visual avatar guidance to facilitate anger control. In the Mindfulness Training program, the participant was engaged in mindfulness-based guided respiration and relaxation meditation.
"In Anger Exposure Training, managed expression reduced the level of anger provoked by angry expression in both the high and low aggression groups," concluded the investigators.
"In Mindfulness Training, meditation increased the level of comfort in both groups as well. Previous studies have shown Virtual Reality to be a useful tool for training, improving outcomes and lowering costs. This study further adds to the literature by illustrating the value of virtual reality training, even when used for a brief intervention," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Center, La Jolla, California.
More information: Hye-Jeong Jo et al, The Applicability of Virtual Reality-Based Training for Controlling Anger in Aggressive Individuals, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (2022). DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2021.0193