Virtual reality in psychological assessment: The body image virtual reality scale

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Virtual environments (VEs) are attracting much attention in clinical psychology, especially in the treatment of phobias. However, a possible new application of virtual reality (VR) in psychology is as assessment tool: VEs can be considered as a highly sophisticated form of adaptive testing. In fact, the key characteristic of VEs is the high level of control of the interaction with the tool without the constraints usually found in computer systems. Both the synthetic environment itself and the manner in which this environment is modified by the user's responses can be tailored to the needs of each client and/or therapeutic application. This article describes the context of current psychological assessment and underlines possible advantages of a VR-based assessment tool. It also details the characteristics of the Body Image Virtual Reality Scale, an assessment tool designed to assess cognitive and affective components of body image. It consists of a nonimmersive 3D graphical interface through which the patient is able to choose among seven figures that vary in size from underweight to overweight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Communication


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