The Impact of Virtual Reality Technology on Public Speaking Anxiety
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Individuals struggle with anxiety ranging from that of mild to severe anxiety disorders, which require much more in-depth treatment. This single participant design explored how effective the use of publicly available virtual reality (VR) technology, through an application called Virtual Speech, is in treating anxiety at a subclinical level, using a student in a speech class with public speaking anxiety. This participant filled out a questionnaire about their speech prior to giving the speech, after partaking in a required speech lab, and after the speech was given in class. This questionnaire sought to understand the thought processes and the physical reactions to the speech. I hypothesized that would be a decrease in anxiety with each questionnaire, but actually resulted in a varied level of anxiety. The potential limitation to the data is the impact that rehearsal helped to reduce anxiety, as well as a need for one additional questionnaire to have been given after the speech lab. As the student gave the speech multiple times, there is a chance that the reduction in anxiety has to do more with being better prepared for the speech, thus reducing the anxiety.