The military's emphasis on efficiently completing tasks often cause considerable stress among military personnel. Therefore, helping soldier and military cadets to relieve stress and engage in positive behaviors has become a focus of military psychology research. Positive psychology studies have reported that virtual reality (VR) can create immersive experiences for individuals and stimulate positive emotions and behaviors, such as awe and prosocial behaviors. Military psychology researchers have also started to use VR in psychological training. However, few empirical studies have examined the effects of VR in the military context. To address this research gap, this study examined the applicability of VR for military schools and assessed the extent to which VR improved the positive emotions and behaviors of military cadets. We explored the prosocial consequences of awe through VR by employing a quasi-experimental method, and 100 military cadets were enrolled into this study, who were divided into an experimental group (VR) and a control group (projector) on the basis of their pretest scores. These two groups watched a film about waterfalls that had awe-inducing content. The results revealed that the feelings of awe and spiritual well-being of the experimental group were significantly greater than those of the control group. Feelings of awe can stimulate spiritual well-being through gratitude and promote prosocial behaviors. The feelings of awe created through VR can robustly encourage prosocial behaviors, especially among junior military cadets. Given the results, Taiwan’s military schools should incorporate VR into psychological counseling to promote the mental health of military cadets.
Shih-Yao Hsiung, National Defense University, Taiwan
Min-Ning Yu, National Chengchi University, Taiwan
Shu-Hua Cheng, National Defense University, Taiwan
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Shih-Yao Hsiung is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at National Defense University in Taiwan
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