Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Muth, Eric

Committee Member

Switzer , Fred

Committee Member

Hoover , Adam


Virtual environments (VEs) are being used in a variety of applications, including training, rehabilitation and clinical treatment. To effectively utilize VEs in these situations it is important to try to understand some of the effects of VE exposure. The purpose of this study was to investigate head and body movements in virtual and real environments during building clearing and the relationship between these movements and simulator sickness. The data for the current study were drawn from a larger team training study which investigated the use of VEs for training building clearing. The goal of the first part of this study was to compare head movements made in a real world (RW) environment to head movements made in a VE (Analysis I). The goal of second part of this study was to examine the relationship between head movements and simulator sickness in a VE (Analysis II). The first analysis used two independent samples t-tests to examine the differences between head movements made in a VE and head movements made in a RW environment. The t-tests showed that subjects in the VE moved their heads less, t(23.438)=12.690, p<0.01, and less often, t(46)=8.682, p<0.05, than subjects in the RW. In the second analysis, a 3 x 20 ANOVA found a significant difference between groups with low, med, and high simulator sickness scores, F(2,21)=4.221, p<0.05, ήp2= 0.287, where subjects who reported being the most sick tended to restrict their head movements more than the other two groups. For VEs to progress as a useful tool, whether for training, therapy, etc., it will be necessary to identify the variable(s) that cause people to become motion sick and restrict their head movement during VE exposure. Future studies should seek to investigate more continuous measures of sickness, perhaps psychophysiological measures, and possible effects of a negative transfer of training due to the restriction of head movements in VEs.

Included in

Psychology Commons



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