The 360º Virtual Scenario Method research program aims to remedy some of the defects of the traditional written scenario (or “vignette”) method by employing immersive 360º video. This immersive method is based on the assumption that the commonly used written scenarios lack contextual detail and are unlikely to capture the more visceral and emotional aspects that surround real-world offending, which commonly occurs during “hot” and altered states of mind. Additionally, the ten-to-fifteen-line narrative of the standard scenario is unlikely to adequately reflect the complex reality of real-life decision-making situations and to realistically incorporate important nuances of social experience.
Rather than asking participants to imagine themselves in a specific situation on the basis of a short narrative, a virtual scenario perceptually immerses them in it. The 360º Virtual Scenario Method research program seeks to validate a stimulus set containing different immersive scenarios in a bar-room setting. Our current research focuses on the effect of emotions and affective states, i.e., anger and sexual arousal, on aggressive behavior and bystander/guardianship behavior. Furthermore, we study the situational and dispositional characteristics that underlie both behaviors using in-VR and regular surveys, physiological measurements, and eye tracking.