Stress-related Psycho-physiological Activation in Emergency Simulations Using a 360° Video

Does looking at an immersive 360° video of a high-emotional simulation elicit a comparable psycho-physiological activation as when directly performing the simulation?


Educational technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and 360° video enhance the learning experience by simulating real-world professional scenarios in classrooms. These technologies provide unique advantages, allowing students to immerse themselves in rare or dangerous situations like emergency rescues and repeat them as needed. By utilizing 360° video and head-mounted displays (HMDs), students can navigate and interact with virtual environments, facilitating the development of essential stress management skills required in high-stress work contexts.


The primary focus of this research project is to utilize 360° video-based virtual simulations for training and preparing students in stress management during real-world job situations, specifically as rescue trainees. The project aims to investigate the impact of Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) on learners’ stress management by utilizing psycho-physiological measurements to detect stress levels accurately.


The research project includes a field study involving rescue trainees in emergency scenarios using 360° video recordings to create an interactive educational video. A multimodal approach combining self-report scales (e.g., on stress, arousal, motivation, and cognitive load), and physiological measures (salivary cortisol and heart rate) is used to comprehensively assess trainee rescuers’ stress levels during the visualization of the immersive 360° video and while performing the real emergency simulation. The main hypothesis wants to test if 360° video-based virtual simulations provoke an emotional activation similar to that provoked by direct simulation.


Project website:

Virtual Reality in der Berufsbildung und ihre Auswirkungen auf Kognition, Emotion und Verhalten | Eidgenössische Hochschule für Berufsbildung EHB


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