No pain, no gain? The effects of adding a pain stimulus in virtual training for police officers

Lisanne Kleygrewe, R. I. Hutter, Raôul R.D. Oudejans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Virtual training systems provide highly realistic training environments for police. This study assesses whether a pain stimulus can enhance the training responses and sense of the presence of these systems. Police officers (n = 219) were trained either with or without a pain stimulus in a 2D simulator (VirTra V-300) and a 3D virtual reality (VR) system. Two (training simulator) × 2 (pain stimulus) ANOVAs revealed a significant interaction effect for perceived stress (p =.010, ηp2 =.039). Post-hoc pairwise comparisons showed that VR provokes significantly higher levels of perceived stress compared to VirTra when no pain stimulus is used (p =.009). With a pain stimulus, VirTra training provokes significantly higher levels of perceived stress compared to VirTra training without a pain stimulus (p <.001). Sense of presence was unaffected by the pain stimulus in both training systems. Our results indicate that VR training appears sufficiently realistic without adding a pain stimulus. Practitioner summary: Virtual police training benefits from highly realistic training environments. This study found that adding a pain stimulus heightened perceived stress in a 2D simulator, whereas it influenced neither training responses nor sense of presence in a VR system. VR training appears sufficiently realistic without adding a pain stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1608-1621
Number of pages14
JournalErgonomics
Volume66
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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