Data_Sheet_1_How Does Embodying a Transgender Narrative Influence Social Bias? An Explorative Study in an Artistic Context.docx (348.81 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_How Does Embodying a Transgender Narrative Influence Social Bias? An Explorative Study in an Artistic Context.docx

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posted on 04.08.2020, 05:06 by Marte Roel Lesur, Sonia Lyn, Bigna Lenggenhager

Virtual reality (VR) protocols inducing illusory embodiment of avatars have shown a positive impact on participants’ perception of outgroup members, in line with the idea that the simulation of another’s sensorimotor states might underlie prosocial behavior. These studies, however, have been mostly confined to laboratory settings with student populations and the use of artificial avatars. In an interdisciplinary effort benefiting from the heterogeneous sample within a museum, we aimed at quantifying changes in interpersonal perception induced by embodying a transgender man narrating his life. We compared an artistic methodology mixing VR and elaborate sensorimotor stimulation to a more conventional primarily audiovisual VR experience. We tested how these affect embodiment and the perception of transgender men as measured by a brief implicit association test and a questionnaire. Neither significant difference in embodiment nor changes in implicit or explicit bias was found, the latter potentially due to the initially low bias in the group. We further assessed participants’ illusory embodiment as a function of age, finding a negative correlation between these. The results are discussed with respect to current theories of embodiment, differences between laboratory and real-life settings, and the intersection of art and science.

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