Improving Emergency Training for Earthquakes Through Immersive Virtual Environments and Anxiety Tests: A Case Study

by   Mohammad Sadra Rajabi, et al.

Because of the occurrence of severe and large magnitude earthquakes each year, earthquake-prone countries suffer considerable financial damage and loss of life. Teaching essential safety measures will lead to a generation that can perform basic procedures during an earthquake, which is an important and effective solution in preventing the loss of life in this natural disaster. In recent years, virtual reality technology is a tool that has been used to educate people on safety matters. This paper evaluates the effect of education and premonition on the incorrect decision-making of residents under the stressful conditions of an earthquake. For this purpose, a virtual model has been designed and built from a proposed classroom in a school of the city of Tehran. Accordingly, two educational scenarios, presented in reality and the virtual model respectively, were conducted on a statistical sample of 20 students within the range of 20 to 25 years of age. Within the mentioned sample, the first group of 10 students were taught safety measures in a traditional classroom. The second group of 10 students participated in a virtual classroom. Evaluation tests on safety measures against earthquakes were distributed after two weeks. Furthermore, two self-reporting tests of Depression, anxiety, stress test (DASS), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) were assigned to the second group to evaluate the effect of foresight under two different scenarios. The results show that educating through virtual reality technology yields a higher performance level relative to the traditional approach to education. Additionally, the ability to detect earthquakes ahead of time is an influential factor in controlling stress and determining the right decisions should the event occur.


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