Virtual Reality-Based Joy Induction: The Role of Interactivity and Prior Mood

Maor Bluman, Keren L.G. Snider, Guy Baratz, Amit Cohen, Daphna Canetti, Béatrice S. Hasler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluates the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) as a novel tool for mood induction, specifically for inducing joy, and examines the role of interactivity and prior mood. We conducted an experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design with 124 participants who were randomly assigned to either a neutral or negative prior mood condition, and an interactive or noninteractive joy induction condition. Prior mood was experimentally manipulated using a VR scenario that simulated a terror attack at a train station (negative mood condition) compared with a control condition in which no incidents occurred at the train station (neutral mood condition). Subsequently, participants entered a virtual park scenario that either allowed for playful interaction with objects in the park (interactive condition) or not (noninteractive condition). We found that interactive VR experiences lead to lower levels of negative affect compared with a noninteractive experience irrespective of participants' prior mood, but playful interaction in VR only increased joy when participants were in a neutral (not negative) prior mood. We suggest interactivity as a design principle for effective negative mood reduction, but further research is required on how to successfully transform a prior negative mood into joy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.


  • affect induction procedures
  • exposure to terrorism
  • interactivity
  • joy
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Social Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Applied Psychology
  • Computer Science Applications


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