PERSPECS: Perspective-taking in VR

A virtual reality environment to experience fellow human perspectives in the context of driving in Indian on-road scenarios.

Guide: Prof. Chandan Dasgupta. Research Progress Committee: Prof. Sridhar Iyer, Prof. Sahana Murthy, and Prof. Jayesh Pillai.

This is my Ph.D. thesis project designed and developed at the Interdisciplinary programme in Educational Technology at IIT Bombay.

Research Goal: To investigate the effects of Virtual Reality Perspective-taking on the learner’s Noticing while making decisions in frequently occurring complex Indian on-road scenarios.

Perspecs VR study setup

In this work, we designed and developed a virtual Indian City environment, PERSPECS, where a learner rides a car simulation on the road, encounters four scenarios along the way, and simultaneously experiences four alternate perspectives of their own actions from the point of view of fellow humans near the road who might bear the consequences. For instance, the scenario of the old man crossing a green signal is shown below, with an alternate perspective from the old man’s point of view.

To investigate the research goal, we captured the participant’s reasoning for their decision with the help of an embodied conversational agent, who is a co-passenger sitting beside the participant while driving in the virtual environment. The co-passenger triggers these conversations, as shown in the screenshot below. These conversations were analyzed using qualitative research methods like Thematic Analysis and Epistemic Network Analysis to derive further insights.

Publications from initial studies:

Herold, P. C., & Dasgupta, C. (2023, Dec). Adapting Noticing Framework to Analyze Learner’s Reasoning in VR-simulated Complex Scenarios. The 31st International Conference on Computers in Education. Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Herold, P. C., & Dasgupta, C. (2023, July). Design of embodied conversational agent to elicit participants’ reasoning for their decisions taken inside a VR environment. In 2023 IEEE 23rd International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT).

More details of the thesis will be updated soon!

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