As virtual reality (VR) technology is increasing in sophistication and accessibility, new research is emerging in multiple disciplines addressing the influence of avatar communication, immersive visual information, and self-perception on social behaviours in VR. For social research, VR systems not only provide rich sensorial experiences, often resembling face-to-face interactions, but they also afford the necessary level of control for lab experimentation. This specific characteristic is of high relevance when creating virtual interventions aiming to reduce prejudice and
improve relations among different social groups. In this seminar I describe how VR technology is used for intergroup contact among different social groups in different contexts, highlighting the relevance of the native features of VR systems and the
social psychological aspects of users for the contact outcomes, and also pointing out some socio-technical challenges for social research in VR.
3 novembre 2022