Keywords

Virtual reality; olfaction; anxiety disorders; presence; virtual environment

Abstract

Exposure therapy (ET) is an extensively studied and supported treatment for anxiety and trauma-related disorders. ET works by exposing the patient to the feared object or situation without any danger in order to overcome the related anxiety. Over the past few years, various technologies including head-mounted displays (HMDs), scent machines, and headphones have been used to augment the exposure therapy process by presenting multi-sensory cues (e.g., sights, smells, sounds) to increase the patient*s sense of presence. While studies have shown that scents can elicit emotionally charged memories, no prior research could be identified that examined the effect of olfactory stimuli upon the patient*s sense of presence during exposure tasks. In this study, the effect of olfactory stimuli on subject*s sense of presence was assessed via psychophysiological response (electrodermal activity), visual scanning, and self-report measures. Linear Mixed Modeling showed relationships between olfactory stimuli and presence ratings as well as self-reported anxiety levels, but not visual scanning or physiological arousal. Recommendations were made for continued research in the union of olfactory stimuli, presence, and exposure therapy.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2015

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Neer, Sandra

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology Clinical

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005850

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005850

Language

English

Release Date

August 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

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