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Photos: Virtual Reality Puts Adults in a Child's World

Seeing the World From a Child's Perspective

Seeing the World From a Child's Perspective

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

A 2013 study by University of Barcelona researchers has found that virtual reality can make people see the world from a child's perspective.

Seeing the World in a Child's Body With Virtual Reality

Seeing the World in a Child's Body

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

In one scenario, participants viewed themselves in a child's body.

Viewing a Version of an Adult's Body with Virtual Reality

Viewing a Version of an Adult's Body with Virtual Reality

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

In another scenario, participants viewed themselves in a scaled-down version of an adult's body.

Virtual Reality Suit

Virtual Reality Suit

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

The team used motion capture-sensors to synchronize the virtual avatar's motion with the movement of the real-life adult's body.

Creating Immersive Realities with Virtual Reality

Creating Immersive Realities with Virtual Reality

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

Virtual reality can create immersive realities that can alter people's perceptions of themselves.

Estimating the Size of Objects

Estimate the Size of Objects virtual reality

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

Afterwards, adults had to estimate the size of objects. People in both world's estimated objects were larger than they really were.

Altered Perception in Childlike Avatars

Altered Perception in Childlike Avatars

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

Those inhabiting the child's body, however, had a bigger tendency to overestimate object sizes.

Childlike Room and a Neutrally-Decorated Room

Childlike Room and a Neutrally-Decorated Room

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

Later, when asked which room to choose, people who had a childlike avatar consistently chose a childlike room (left) over a more neutrally decorated room.

Virtual Reality Helps People Understand Child's Viewpoint

Virtual Reality Helps People Understand Child's Viewpoint

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

The findings suggest that just a little bit of time in a virtual reality environment could help people understand a child's point of view better.

Subconscious Bias After Virtual Reality

Subconscious Bias After Virtual Reality

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mel Slater)

In addition, in a test of subconscious bias, those who spent just a few minutes inhabiting the child's body tended to associate more with childish words.