Immersive virtual reality implementations in developmental psychology

Paola Araiza-Alba, Therese Keane, Jennifer L. Beaudry, Jordy Kaufman

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In recent years, immersive virtual reality technology (IVR) has seen a substantial improvement in its quality, affordability, and ability to simulate the real world. Virtual reality in psychology can be used for three basic purposes: immersion, simulation, and a combination of both. While the psychological implementations of IVR have been predominately used with adults, this review seeks to update our knowledge about the uses and effectiveness of IVR with children. Specifically, its use as a tool for pain distraction, neuropsychological assessment, and skills training. Results showed that IVR is a useful tool when it is used either for immersive or simulative purposes (e.g., pain distraction, neuropsychological assessment), but when its use requires both simulation (of the real world) and immersion (e.g., a vivid environment), it is trickier to implement effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Journal of Virtual Reality
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Immersive Virtual Reality
  • Psychology
  • IVR
  • simulation
  • pain distraction
  • neuropsychological assessment
  • skills training
  • simulative purposes


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