About this Research Topic
Among the technologies that have emerged in recent years, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Video Games (VGs) represent innovative tools that have the potential to dramatically change the way psychological and neuropsychological treatments are administered. These advanced technologies, because of their reasonable cost and increasing diffusion among the public, appear to be among the most interesting and promising therapeutic approaches for improving individuals' health and well-being.
However, despite that numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the therapeutic benefits of these technologies for diverse cognitive functions and individual patients, less attention has been devoted to the therapeutic use of such tools for the assessment and training of emotion regulation and stress management skills. This lacuna is particularly glaring because VR, AR, and VGs, due to how they are intrinsically motivating, engaging, and easily accessible, are potentially useful in improving individuals’ emotional skills.
Indeed, various studies have foregrounded a strong correlation between the use of these technologies and an increase in an individual’s experience of positive emotions. VR in particular has been shown to be able to evoke positive emotions like joy and relaxation, as well as to facilitate relaxation processes in stressed or anxious individuals. Analogously, several studies have showed that AR may be an effective means for Exposure Therapy (ET), a treatment aiming to better the patient’s emotional response to phobic stimuli or addiction, in the treatment of specific phobias, as well as of other conditions, including obesity.
Similarly, several studies on VGs reflect that both commercial and ad hoc developed VGs can be effective in inducing positive emotions and in reducing individual level of stress. This seems to be confirmed in healthy adults as well in individuals with emotional disorders as high-trait anxiety and those diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa.
Despite these initial research findings about the therapeutic uses and effectiveness of VR, AR, and VGs technologies for emotion regulation and stress management assessment and training programs, however, little research studies have been conducted on the uses and effectiveness of these technologies as therapeutic methods. It is in this context that we welcome contributions to this a Research Topic entitled ‘Assessing Therapeutic Uses and Effectiveness of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Video games for Stress Management and Emotional Regulation.’
Theoretical, empirical, experimental, and case studies are all welcome. All contributions should clearly address the practical and theoretical implications of the research reported. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• Applications of VR, AR, and VGs for emotion regulation and stress management assessment and training in mental health contexts
• VR, AR, and VGs content and application for emotion regulation and stress management
• Theoretical perspectives of understanding VR, AR, and VGs in emotion regulation and stress management assessment and training programs
• Potential impact (socio-cultural, economic and environmental) of VR, AR, and VGs for emotion regulation and stress management
• Challenges and pitfalls in applying VR, AR, and VGs for emotion regulation and stress management purposes
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Video Games, Emotion Regulation, Stress Management
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.