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Fear of Flying and Virtual Environments: An Introductory Review

Fear of Flying and Virtual Environments: An Introductory Review
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Author(s): Giovanni Vincenti (Gruppo Vincenti S.r.l., Italy)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 10
Source title: Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch506

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Abstract

Fear of flying is a common problem that many people have to face. As varied as the causes may be, all kinds of fears have many aspects in common. Much is known to us about fear, and the fields of psychology and psychiatry teach us that many times we can conquer fears simply by exposing the subject to the dreaded object. Human-Computer Interaction has branched even in this direction, including the treatment of phobias. With the help of Virtual Reality researchers around the world have recreated using a computer the way that psychologists and psychiatrists cure fears, adding a twist. Many times patients are supposed to go the extra mile and expose themselves, little by little, to what they are afraid of. Virtual Reality brings this type of exposure directly to the patient, with the comfort that such fear can be stopped at any time, since it is only a computer simulation. The most successful studies have been performed on arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders. There are also studies that deal with the fear of heights and the fear of public speaking. Some studies have also been performed on addressing the fear of flying using a virtual environment. This work is a review of such methods, and an explanation of the principles behind the motivation for these studies.

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