Sean Brannon


Although there were no observed effects, several suggestions were made to inform researchers in designing a study of fluid interaction. With the increasing usage of computers in the conduct of research, there is ample evidence to suggest that some emotional or physiological responses may be reliably measured using two-dimensional computer simulations.

It was predicted in accordance with the previous aggression literature that when the participant was in the role of aggressor that autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses would decrease as a function of concentration or cognitive load. It was also predicted that when the participant was in the role of virtual victim, a significant increase in ANS function would be observed as a manifestation of the so termed "flight" response were recruited. A two-dimensional virtual challenge arena was programmed using a . video game interface. Fourty-two college students with no prior history of pathology alternatively attacked and defended against an attacker during which, SCL and HR were measured.

General recreational data and computer usage as well as valence information was also collected. Results showed that the interaction was rated as "somewhat pleasant" regardless of which role the participant played. They also rated the conflict as "somewhat excited" and felt "mostly in control" of the interaction. Overall the interaction was rated as being, "slightly unrealistic

Physiological measurements were made during five discrete phases. Although statistically significant differences were observed between the measurement phases verifying that the phases are likely to be meaningful, there were no reliably significant differences between the different conflict conditions in measuring heart rate and skin conductance.

It was proposed that several possibilities, including too complex a measurement design, non-discrete measurement phases and individual variances in acclimation and perceived novelty of the task may have resulted in the failure to find meaningful group , differences among conditions.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Paul Haerich

Second Advisor

Louis E. Jenkins

Third Advisor

Michael R. Lewin

Fourth Advisor

Matthew L. Riggs

Fifth Advisor

Frederick A. Newton

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Communication -- Psychological aspects; Psychology -- Mathematical models; Social interaction; Virtual reality -- Psychological aspects; Human-computer interaction; Social psychology.



Page Count

ix; 89

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives