1. bookVolume 8 (2021): Issue 1 (June 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

How do You Feel in Virtual Environments? The Role of Emotions and Openness Trait Over Creative Performance

Published Online: 30 Aug 2021
Page range: 148 - 164
Received: 31 May 2021
Accepted: 02 Jul 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

In the Dynamic Creativity Framework creativity is defined as a context-embedded phenomenon requiring potential originality and effectiveness. This definition indicates that the environmental conditions embedding the creative process have fundamental impact on the process itself and its outcomes. In particular, Virtual environments (VEs) are emerging as everyday contexts for a large part of the world population, affecting behaviors and feelings. VEs have been demonstrated to affect creative performance in several ways, even if the psychological mechanisms at the basis of the different modifications in the creative behavior are far from being completely explained. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of different types of VEs on creative performance, with a specific focus on participants’ emotional reactions and on their individual differences in the Openness personality trait. A total of 22 participants were exposed to four different types of environments: a real room environment (RE), a control virtual environment (CVE) resembling the physical characteristics of the RE, a positive virtual environment (PVE) and a negative virtual environment (NVE). Participants were free to explore each environment for two minutes, then they were asked to perform an Alternative Uses Task for five minutes, to measure divergent thinking performance. Openness and affective reactions in each environment were measured in all participants. Results showed that Openness was associated with higher originality of responses and that this effect was particularly significant in PVE. Importantly, the type of environment interacted significantly with participants’ affective reactions in explaining their creative performance, revealing that an increase of ideas originality was associated with an increase of positive affect, emerging as a consequence of experiencing a PVE. Affective reactions to VEs, in combination with individual differences in term of Openness, thus emerge as one of the possible explicatory mechanisms of the impact of virtual reality on creative performance.

Keywords

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