Title: An Immersive Childhood: Virtual Reality’s Influence on Children’s Cognitive Skills and Social Behaviors
Speaker: Jakki Bailey (Stanford)
Location: Location: UTA 5.522 (1616 Guadalupe St., 5th Floor)
Abstract: Research with adults has demonstrated that VR has the power to alter users’ attitudes, behaviors, and physiology. Despite children being early adopters and frequent users of media, little is known about VR and child development. Early childhood represents a developmental period of rapid growth in children’s abilities to understand symbolic representation, regulate their emotion and behavior, and to distinguish fantasy and reality in media. In immersive VR, the external world is blocked out, virtual characters provide realistic social behaviors, and the content can provide rich sensory feedback, making the experience particularly salient. In this talk, I present my experimental research examining the effects of immersive VR on young children’s cognitive skills and social responses to a virtual character, and discuss the implications for VR in children’s lives.
Bio: Jakki Bailey specializes in immersive media, and its influence on cognition, behavior, and learning. Bailey is one of the few scholars examining the psychological implications of
immersive virtual reality (VR) on child development, and is currently studying VR’s influence on children’s cognitive skills, social responses, and pro-social behaviors. Her past research has included studying how technology affects behavior change such as through Internet-based programs to reduce the risk of mental disorders and leveraging VR to promote pro-
environmental behaviors among adult populations. In addition, she has used VR to test some of the mechanisms behind embodiment’s influence on perception. In addition to her academic research and service, Bailey has advised children’s media company executives on the psychological, social, and ethical implications of VR in youth’s lives. She is completing her Ph.D. in Communication at Stanford University, and is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Sesame Workshop Dissertation Award.
1:15pm to 2:30pm