Perceived Restorativeness and Meditation Depth for Virtual Reality Supported Mindfulness Interventions

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Abstract

Novice meditators often find it difficult to tune out external distractions which hinders their ability to engage in mindfulness practice. The problem is further exacerbated by stress and directed attention fatigue. Researchers and tech companies are experimenting with nature-inspired themes to improve the meditation session quality. In this paper, we discuss our pilot experiment, using nature inspired virtual reality themes to create an idealized space for meditation. Our results indicate that the participants found the space restorative and that the perceived restorativeness was positively correlated with the perception of the depth or quality of the meditation session. We also found that a majority of participants experienced a reduction in baseline tonic electrodermal activity as well as frequency of skin conductance responses; however, neither electrodermal measure of arousal was significantly correlated with any of the self-report measures.

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