In this research project, we want to contribute to a better understanding of unusual experiences in youth. Unusual experiences include seeing or hearing things that other people cannot see or hear, believing that someone is following you or having thoughts that seem strange to others such as the idea of having supernatural powers. Many young people have such experiences, and only for some people these experiences cause distress and occur in the context of a mental health disorder.
The aim of this project is to better understand how experiencing unusual experiences can play a role in social performance in young people by using a novel virtual reality (VR) paradigm. VR is a relatively new technology that has already opened many doors for research. It allows us to be immersed in an environment and interact with virtual agents (aka avatars) It then allows us to observe real-time interactions and behaviors and include physiological measures.
Data collection was completed in June of 2023 and the data is currently being analysed.