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Focusing on Cybersickness: Pervasiveness, Latent Trajectories, Susceptibility, and Effects on the Virtual Reality Experience

Maite Frías-Hiciano, Mariano Moreno-Jiménez, Gabriella Nicole Cruz, Zoilo García-Batista, Kiero Guerra-Peña, Leonardo Adrian Medrano, Luis Eduardo Garrido
Published: 7 April 2021
Abstract: Although virtual reality (VR) usage has steadily increased in the last decade, its adoption has been hampered by experiences of user discomfort known as cybersickness. The present study, in line with the 2020 cybersickness research agenda, sought to provide a broad examination of the cybersickness phenomenon, assessing its pervasiveness, latent trajectories, impacts on the VR experience, and predictor variables. The study was composed of 92 participants living in the Dominican Republic with ages ranging from 18 to 52 years (M=26.22), who experienced a 10-minute VR immersion in two environments designed for psychotherapy. The results indicated that cybersickness was pervasive, with 65.2% of the participants experiencing it, and 23.9% severely. Additionally, the latent trajectories of cybersickness were positive and curvilinear, with large heterogeneity across individuals. Cybersickness also had a substantive negative impact on the user experience and the intentions to adopt the VR technology. Finally, motion sickness susceptibility, cognitive stress, and recent headaches, uniquely predicted greater severity of cybersickness, while age was negatively related. These combined results highlight the critical role that cybersickness plays on the VR experience and underscore the importance of finding solutions to the problems, such as technological advancements or special usage protocols for the more susceptible individuals.
Keywords: susceptibility / stress / virtual / usage / Pervasiveness / trajectories / experience / latent / cybersickness

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