Jeremy Bailenson, Stanford University. Joint with Communication’s Steven Chaffee Lecture. "Your Mind on the Metaverse"

Event Date: 

Friday, April 14, 2023 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Theater & Dance Auditorium

Jeremy Bailenson is the founder of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University, where he is the Thomas More Storke Professor of Communication.  He studies the psychology of virtual and augmented reality, particularly how virtual experiences change perceptions of self and others. A Fellow of the International Communication Association, author of Experience on Demand, and with Jim Blascovich, Infinite Reality, he consults for the State Department, US Senate, Congress, the California Supreme Court, the US military, the Department of Energy, the National Research Council, and the National Institutes of Health.

Despite talk about the metaverse, there’s a lack of research on what happens when people wear immersive Virtual Reality headsets and come together as avatars.  This talk discusses the trials and tribulations of social interaction in VR, from a year-long study which immersed 400+ students in small groups in VR for ten weeks at a time, examining the effects of self-representation and environmental context on nonverbal behavior, speech, performance, and self-report measures longitudinally in a dataset of over 300,000 shared minutes in VR.  In addition to discussing findings related to self and context, Prof. Bailenson discusses what the metaverse is good for, and what it is not.