Better Behavior With Virtual Reality

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This well-known saying is known as the “Golden Rule. Simply put, it means to treat others the way you want to be treated. The moral principle behind the Golden Rule is admirable, but it’s not always how things happen in the real world. It if were, there would be less crime and fewer conflicts. But what if you were visiting a virtual world? Might it be possible to experience the harmful actions you take from the perspective of the victim? Could these VR experiences help us live by the Golden Rule?

Mel Slater, a researcher with the University of Barcelona and author on a paper published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, explains how we might foster prosocial behavior with virtual reality.

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