The implicit and explicit memory of static and interactive objects in virtual reality

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Virtual reality applications are developing fast and break new grounds every day in new industries. In today's market, most of the virtual reality projects are funded by venture capitalists and are yet to produce any revenue. For an advertiser to be willing to advertise they must see some sort of value or possibility to receive revenue out of the intended commercial. Memory is a common measure of influence from a commercial. Therefore, this thesis aim was to investigate if the memory, in terms of implicit and explicit memory, was affected by objects with different levels of interaction in virtual reality. A user study was conducted where the participants were instructed to go through several virtual rooms, where they were exposed to static, semiinteractive and interactive objects in the categories fruits/vegetables and beverage cans. The static objects were presented as pictures on instruction boards, the semi-interactive objects were presented through point-and-click tasks, and the interactive objects were presented through tasks that utilized body movements in virtual reality.When the participants were finished with the virtual reality application, they conducted a survey regarding their experiences and was asked to fill out three memory tests; a word-fragment completion task, a cued recall test, and a recognition task. Results show that interactive and semi-interactive objects in virtual reality did have a significant impact on explicit memory, and that the static objects did not. For implicit memory a conclusion could not be drawn whether the objects in the virtual environment had any impact due to no significant difference between the study participants and the control group without influence of the study as a result of not enough data. The results from the study were vastly different for fruits/vegetables and beverage brands, where results for the fruits/vegetables had a clear distinction and the beverage brands had almost no significant data, which could be due to “Inattentional blindness”.

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