Was it Real or Virtual? Confirming the Occurrence and Explaining Causes of Memory Source Confusion between Reality and Virtual Reality

Elise Bonnail, Julian Frommel, Eric Lecolinet, Samuel Huron, Jan Gugenheimer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Source confusion occurs when individuals attribute a memory to the wrong source (e.g., confusing a picture with an experienced event). Virtual Reality (VR) represents a new source of memories particularly prone to being confused with reality. While previous research identified causes of source confusion between reality and other sources (e.g., imagination, pictures), there is currently no understanding of what characteristics specific to VR (e.g., immersion, presence) could influence source confusion. Through a laboratory study (n=29), we 1) confirm the existence of VR source confusion with current technology, and 2) present a quantitative and qualitative exploration of factors influencing VR source confusion. Building on the Source Monitoring Framework, we identify VR characteristics and assumptions about VR capabilities (e.g., poor rendering) that are used to distinguish virtual from real memories. From these insights, we reflect on how the increasing realism of VR could leave users vulnerable to memory errors and perceptual manipulations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2024 - Proceedings of the 2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Sytems
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9798400703300
ISBN (Print)9798400703300
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Keywords

  • Memory
  • Source Confusion
  • Source Misattribution
  • Virtual Reality

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