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The human source memory system struggles to distinguish virtual reality and reality

Rubo, Marius; Messerli, Nadine; Munsch, Simone (2021). The human source memory system struggles to distinguish virtual reality and reality. Computers in Human Behavior Reports, 2021 (4), p. 100111. 10.1016/j.chbr.2021.100111

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Virtual Reality (VR) is used in a variety of fields with the goal to increase ecological validity compared to traditional monitor-based setups. Here we report additional evidence for the adequacy of this research strategy. In a memory confusion paradigm spanning over stimuli presentation in reality, VR and on a computer monitor, participants were more prone to confusing reality with VR than with a traditional monitor-based setup, indicating a relative proximity of experiences in VR and reality. We speculate that the human source memory's difficulty in distinguishing VR from reality may provide a basis for the good generalizability of treatment effects in VR to daily life. At the same time, the effect may demonstrate a potential danger of a mindless use of VR technology.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

PHBern Contributor:

Rubo, Marius




Jessica Brunner

Date Deposited:

16 Feb 2023 16:34

Last Modified:

17 Apr 2023 09:16

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Virtual Reality, Memory




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