Managing High Risk Sex Offenders in the Community: A Psychological Approach
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Experiment procedure. The experiment started with the initial rating.
Goal of the initial rating was to identify the individual most unattractive virtual adult and most attractive virtual child character. In the main experiment phase, the participants learned the controlling of the virtual supermarket and the task in the tutorial and training. Afterwards, the participant was exposed to the most attractive virtual child character consecutively in three risk scenarios. The risk scenarios differed from each other with regard to their difficulty to avoid the contact to the virtual child character.
During the tutorial, the participant was instructed that his task is to buy five specific products chocolate, Coca-Cola, pasta, milk, and coffee in the virtual supermarket within 5 min.
At the beginning, the participants stood in the entrance area in front of the virtual screen. The investigator explained the controlling of the VE and asked the participant to test the two different options to walk through the supermarket per joystick or per pedes; see above.
Then, the investigator guided the participant during his first virtual shopping trip. In order to ensure that all participants were at the same training level regarding the control of the VE, the participants trained in the VE until they were able to buy all five products within 5 min. During this training phase, the participant received no help from the investigator.
At the beginning of the baseline condition, the participants were told that the task to buy five products remained, but with no time restriction. They were further told, that a virtual character will make contact during the virtual shopping trip. Responses can be selected with the HUD. Based on the results of the initial rating, the virtual adult character with the shortest viewing time was used. Until the participant reached the candy shelves in the middle of the virtual supermarket the participant had to buy chocolate , the virtual character walked through the supermarket at a predefined path.
When the participant reached the candy shelves, the virtual character walked to the participant and asked, if the participant knew where he can find Coca-Cola bottles in the supermarket. During the interaction, the participant was not able to move. After the virtual character talked to the participant, the participant was able to choose among five different answers.
Depending on the chosen answer, the virtual character reacted in different ways see Supplementary S4. The baseline situation finished once the participant reached the entrance area. After finishing the baseline condition, the participant had to walk through three virtual risk scenarios in a fixed order. The task was the same as in the baseline condition. In contrast to the baseline condition, in the risk scenarios the participant was confronted with the most attractive virtual child character according to the results of the initial rating the virtual child character with the longest viewing time.
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The same virtual child character was used in all three virtual risk scenarios. The virtual risk scenarios differed with regards to their difficulty to avoid a contact to the virtual child characters. In risk scenario one, the participant has the opportunity to avoid direct contact with the child at all.
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In risk scenario two and three, the participant was not able to avoid contact to the virtual child, but he could leave or not the situation immediately see Supplementary S5—S7. In each risk scenario, the virtual child character walked through the supermarket at a pre-defined path until the participant reached a specific trigger area of the supermarket risk scenario one and two: candy shelves; risk scenario three: cash-points. The path of the virtual child character was defined in order to ensure, that the participant could see the child before he was forced to get in contact with the child.
The Simulator Sickness Questionnaire Kennedy et al. Its symptoms are similar to those of motion-induced sickness, but originate from elements of the visual display and visuo-vestibular interaction Cobb et al. The questionnaire consists of 16 items based on a four-point Likert scale ranging from zero the symptom is not existent to three very severe symptom.
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The total score measures the overall severity of simulator sickness. The Igroup Presence Questionnaire Schubert et al. It contains 14 items rated on a seven-point Likert scale ranging from zero to six. The IPQ contains three sub-scales that measure different components of presence: 1 the Spatial Presence sub-scale is related to the sense of physically being in the VE, 2 the Involvement sub-scale is meant to evaluate the attention devoted to the VE, and 3 the Realness sub-scale evaluates the sense of reality attributed to the VE. The Social Presence Questionnaire Bailenson et al.
Co-presence also reflects, if someone react to a virtual human as if it is a real human Bailenson et al. The SPQ contains 10 items rated on a 7-point Likert scale ranging from zero strongly disagree to six strongly agree. One factor of the SPQ measures the perceived co-presence. The perceived co-presence reflects how a user has the feeling, that a virtual human was really there in the VE. Factor analysis identified four distinct factors [scene realism, audience behavior, audience appearance, and sound realism; Poeschl and Doering ].
Scene realism measures the naturalism of visual cues, colors, three-dimensionality, and realistic proportions of the VE. Audience behavior measures the authenticity of postures, gestures, and facial expressions of virtual characters within the VE. The authenticity of virtual humans in general and the adequateness of the outfit of the virtual characters is subsumed under the factor audience appearance.
Sound realism is a single item measure to describe the realism of the sound in general, e. During each virtual scenario, the participant has to interact with a virtual character baseline scenario, risk scenario two, and risk scenario three or to decide how to react, upon seeing a child character at the candy shelves risk scenario one. All these interactions were provided in mixed modalities: the virtual character talked to the participant and the participant could choose predefined answers or behaviors, which were presented via a HUD. The number of possible choices depended on the scenario and the choice the participant chose first see Supplementary S5—S7 for an overview of possible interaction sequences in the different scenarios.
There were a maximum of two interaction levels for baseline scenario, risk scenario two, and risk scenario three. In risk scenario I, only one interaction level was provided. All choices were categorized into approach behavior and avoidance behavior. Approach behavior was defined as every predefined answer in which the participant 1 could get in contact or tries to get in contact with a virtual character, 2 could touch or tries to touch the virtual character, 3 tries to extend the interaction sequence, or 4 tries to reduce the distance to the virtual character.
Avoidance behavior was defined as every predefined answer, in which the participant 1 did not react to the virtual character or 2 tries to leave the situation. Supplementary S3—S5 show the categorization of each predefined answer in approach or avoidance behavior. Additionally, in order to compare the answer behavior with coping strategies learned during therapy see the following section and Tables 2 , 3 , for some analyses see Data analyses for more details the approach behavior was further divided in approach behavior with physical contact or without physical contact.
Table 2. Items of the therapist rating scale for virtual risk scenarios T-VRS. Table 3.
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The items of the patient rating scale for virtual risk situations P-VRS. The Therapist Rating Scale for Virtual Risk Scenarios T-VRS was developed in order to assess coping strategies focused on during therapy by the therapist and the prediction of therapists with regards to the ability of the participant to perform learned coping strategies.
Table 2 describes all items of the T-VRS in detail. It consists of two dichotomous items, which were explicitly linked to risk situations comparable to the virtual risk situations and asks for the prediction of the therapists with regards to the ability of the SOC to cope with risk situations. Note that all therapists had walked through the virtual risk scenarios before filling in the T-VRS.
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The Patient Rating Scale for Virtual Risk Scenarios P-VRS was developed in order to assess the subject beliefs of SOCs about the correct behavior in risk situations comparable to the virtual risk scenarios and to assess coping strategies patients have learned during therapy. Table 3 describes all items of the P-VRS in detail. In order to evaluate the acceptance of the virtual risk scenarios between the two groups SOCs vs.
In order to identify changes with regard to simulator sickness symptoms, a paired t -test pre vs. Due to low sample size, the effect-size Cohen's d was used to interpret the results and not the p -value.
The effect size Cramer' V was used to interpret the results due to the small sample size. Because of the small sample size, we decided not to perform further statistical analysis within the group of SOCs or NOCs with regard to their behavior. Thus, only descriptive statistics are provided. In order to evaluate, if SOCs behavior was in concordance with their subject belief about correct behavior, the frequencies of congruent and not congruent behavior with the respective items of P-VRS were calculated.
As shown in Table 4 , the reported subjective feeling of presence was at a high level in each experimental condition. Thus, independent of the experimental condition there were if at all only small differences with regards to the feeling of presence between the participant groups. Table 4. As one can see, the subjective Copresence was at a medium level in all conditions and both participant groups.
The statistical analysis of the factor Copresence revealed differences between the two participant groups with only small effect sizes in the baseline condition [ t 8.