I am writing a paper on why people ascribe certain qualities to certain places. I seem to recall an experiment where the subjects used a virtual reality system to navigate a completely fictional computer-generated underground space. A significant number of them chose the same 'spookiest place' and IIRC some quoted some spaces as being colder then others. I recall that it was a response to the claim that since so many people reported feeling of unease in a certain spot in an allegedly haunted house then it must be of supernatural origin. The common response to a fictional place seems to help disprove this claim.

I currently have a section on people ascribing positive emotions and responses to places but I am looking for the fear and anxiety response to a place.

Does anyone know of this experiment and can direct me to a paper? I have been searching most of the morning but cannot find anything.


  • $\begingroup$ I don’t know the specific reference you are looking for but a google scholar search of “virtual reality horror physiological” comes up with some studies that have investigated physiological fear responses in vr. Maybe some of those paper cite (or are cited by) the specific paper you are looking for. $\endgroup$ – jerlich Apr 13 '19 at 9:44

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