Usefulness of the Mobile Virtual Reality Self-Training for Overcoming a Fear of Heights

Yeon Ju Hong, Hesun Erin Kim, Young Hoon Jung, Sunghyon Kyeong, Jae Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


A mobile virtual reality system, equipped with built-in variables such as heart rate (HR), gaze-down data, and subjective fear rating, can allow individuals with a fear of heights to overcome it by self-training. This study aimed to verify the efficacy and safety of the training program. Forty-eight volunteers completed the four-session self-training program over 2 weeks. They were allocated into either low- or high-fear group by the Acrophobia Questionnaire (AQ)-anxiety scores, and then the changes of the built-in variables and AQ-anxiety scores were analyzed between the groups. The safety was assessed using the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). The AQ-anxiety scores were significantly decreased after self-training in both groups, and the degree of decrease was significantly greater in the high-fear group than in the low-fear group. Gaze-down percentage and subjective fear rating showed a significant group difference, but HR did not. The SSQ scores were within the acceptable level. These results suggest that the training effect was greater in the high-fear group than in the low-fear group. This mobile program may be safely applicable to self-training for individuals with high scores on the fear of heights by repeated exposure to virtual environments with the embedded feedback system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-761
Number of pages9
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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