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Merging Realities


Despite extensive research showing that policy issues, such as global warming, are already having an immense impact on our society, effective communication of risks and solutions remains an obstacle in policy actions. This project focuses on Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) as persuasive and behavior change facilitation tools for responding to pressing policy problems in an urban context oa. climate, public health and housing policy. These problems are abstract and invisible, complex and layered. This complicates communication to target groups, who are often not convinced of the urgency. Moreover, a willingness to take action is required of people. Just this requires a sense of urgency to achieve attitude and/or behavioral change.


Research on VR and AR applications for education and behavior change is in its infancy. Many results are not yet generalizable to widespread practice. This project aims to explore the role VR and AR can play in creating sense of urgency and behavior change among public groups.

While these tools cannot solve urban problems, they can make communication on policy topics tangible, scalable and closer to people's lives. Moreover, based on the research findings, a VR and AR self-study package is being developed that will allow government and nonprofit to take the first steps in this domain.


How can we use VR/AR in government and non-profit organization information campaigns so that a difference in persuasion (empathy, urgency, knowledge, attitude, intention) occurs in accordance with the desired behavioral change?   

We investigate this central research question through literature review, survey, expert interviews, focus groups, experimental research and testing, among others.