Como incrementar prosocial behavior para pessoas em situação de rua? um estudo experimental envolvendo realidade virtual e a conexão do homem com cães
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O estudo investigou, à luz das teorias de psicologia social e tomada de perspectiva, novas formas de chamar a atenção para a causa das pessoas em situação de rua e, consequentemente, estimular maior empatia e comportamentos pró-sociais para com elas. Foram utilizados desenhos experimentais between-subjetcs nos dois estudos realizados, manipulando diferentes condições - com presença ou não de animais - em panfletos e vídeos 360º para óculos de realidade virtual. Ao final, a experiência de tomada de perspectiva via imersão em realidade virtual estimulou mais comportamentos benéficos socialmente quando comparada ao método tradicional de imagem e mensagem com vítima identificada (folheto). O uso de animais em materiais de captação, contudo, apresentou resultados mistos: funcionando apenas para incrementar intenções de doação quando combinado com a realidade virtual.Purpose – Investigate, using social psychology and perspective taking theories, new ways to call the attention of the general public to homelessness and, therefore, generate more empathy and prosocial behavior towards them. Design/Methodology – Between-subjects experimental design was used on both studies. In the first, the survey was distributed online through Facebook Ads, manipulating fundraising flyers in four condition: (1) a picture of a homeless with a dog (animal-human interaction); (2) a picture of a homeless withoug the dog; (3) a picture of a dog; and (4) a picture of an astronomer (control group). In the second study, the sample was collected by the author in the field, exploring the conditions 1 and 2 of the first study in a virtual reality setting. Statistics analysis were used to test the manipulation effects of each study and also to compare both of them. Findings – The virtual reality experience promoted more prosocial behaviors when compared with identifiable victim flyers, a traditional perspective taking method. Using animals in fundraising campaigns showed mixed results: working only in the donation question when combined with the virtual reality condition. Moreover, participants showed that they see homeless people and dogs in the same evolutionary level. Research limitations – Both studies exploit research designs in which people were obliged to pay attention in the homeless cause. Maybe dogs could be more useful to call the attention in a moment before, when homelessness was not evident yet. Moreover, the donation question measured only intentions, without a real donation act; the immersion virtual environment lasted only for 1 minute and did not evolved interactions with the virtual reality; the second sample was relatively small; and the dependent variables were measured only right after the experiences, failing to captures medium and long term effects. Practical and social implications – Given the problem magnitude around the world and the finding that immersive virtual environments are more effective to generate prosocial behaviors, this study can inspire NGOs, government agents and the general public to promote fundraising and/or awareness campaigns based on virtual reality. In the US, there’s an example in North Caroline, where the VR Seeking Shelter movement was born. Originality – Immersive virtual environments as a tool in Brazil to raise awareness for homeless people and the idea that dogs can be used as tool to connect segregated social groups.