Sri Kalyanaraman, Yu-Hao Lee and CJC Alum Co-Author Article on Building Empathy in 360 Video
Sri Kalyanaraman, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Journalism professor, Media Production, Management, and Technology Associate Professor Yu-Hao Lee and Daniel Pimentel, Ph.D. 2020, are the co-authors of “Voices of the Unsung: The Role of Social Presence and Interactivity n Building Empathy in 360 Video” published in New Media and Society on Aug. 21.
Pimentel, who was the lead author on the study, Kalyanaraman and Lee studied two possible mechanisms, social presence and interactivity, that may drive empathy within 360 video.
According to the authors, “Results demonstrate that social presence contributes to prosocial behaviors (donations) through empathic concern, an effect augmented by interactivity. Unexpectedly, the social presence manipulation also contributed to greater perceived interactivity. Collectively, results are promising and elucidate the role of social presence and interactivity in immersive storytelling.”
They add, “The findings also emphasize the importance of social presence in empathy-building via immersive storytelling and highlight certain factors that drive audience connection to story characters. Despite the absence of mutual awareness, 360 video can elicit a high degree of social presence. We maintain that the true potential of 360 video as a prosocial tool lies not only in its ability to elicit a sense of ‘being there,’ but also in the elicitation of a sense of “being with” vulnerable communities.”