Two to five percent of the population suffers from fear of heights. Through the use of ZeroPhobia, which is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), fear of heights symptoms can be significantly reduced, the study finds. VU-researcher Tara Donker: "We can now offer CBT for treating phobias without the intervention of a therapist, using only a smartphone and a VR viewer costing less than less than a few coffees from Starbucks."
CBT treats phobias, like fear of heights, by finding ways to safely put people near the object or in the situation that they fear. Donker: "In this treatment, people are gradually exposed to their fear in a virtual environment. They can be standing on a high balcony in a theater or on top of a building, for example. Step by step, they learn to deal with their fear and how to reduce it. An interesting aspect of VR is that because people know it is not real, they are also more willing to try new things out. And because the treatment is entirely gamified and animated, they may even enjoy it. The...
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