This study examined the ability of a pre-recorded videoconferencing (VC) audience to elicit the physiological and subjective arousal associated with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) when giving a formal presentation. This study had three objectives: (a) to determine whether speaking to the VC audience elicited significant increases in physiological response (e.g., heart rate and electrodermal activity) and subjective distress over baseline resting conditions (b) to determine whether the VC task more closely replicates the physiological and subjective experience of giving a speech to a comparable real-life audience than levels elicited by a Virtual Reality (VR) environment and (c) to determine whether the VC task elicited higher levels of presence and fear of negative evaluation than the VR task, more closely replicating levels elicited by an in vivo speech. All participants gave an impromptu speech under three conditions: in vivo, VC, and VR audience while measures of physiological arousal, self-reported distress, and presence were obtained. Results demonstrated that the VC task elicited significantly greater increases in heart rate, electrodermal activity, and self-reported distress than the VR task and VC responses were not significantly different from in vivo. In addition, participants reported levels of immersion and fear of negative evaluation during the VC task that were significantly greater than during the VR task, and did not differ significantly from in vivo. Clinical implications of these findings including cost effectiveness and the role of VC in the treatment of SAD are discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Owens, Maryann, "Optimizing Strategies for In Vivo Exposure in the Traditional Clinical Setting" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5220.