Training in Affectively Intense Virtual Environments


The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of affective intensity of a virtual reality (VR) training environment on learning, as demonstrated by performance within a “real life”, affectively intense environment. Participants completed a VR “training” scenario in which they were required to locate victims of a terrorist attack either in an “affectively intense” or “neutral” environment. Participants then attempted to locate the rooms containing the victims within the actual building, the VR environment was modeled on, as they listened to affectively intense audio. The major findings were: 1) Those who trained in the affectively intense environment performed substantially better in the “real” environment; 2) Participants in the two environments did not differ with respect to autonomic arousal or perceived presence; and 3) Those more experienced with computer games reported a higher degree of presence in the virtual environment and performed better in the “real” environment.


Business and Information Technology

Second Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Autonomic Arousal; Intense Environment; VR Environment; Virtual reality

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2004 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004