How Does VR Affect Emotional Appeal and Persuasiveness of Gain Versus Loss-Framed Messages?

Mengqi Liao, Pejman Sajjadi, S. Shyam Sundar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can virtual reality (VR) lead to more desirable persuasion effects than videos in communicating the science of contentious issues like climate change? And, will these effects differ between messages that offer hope versus fear? We addressed these questions with a 2 (Modality: Desktop VR vs. Unidirectional video) × 2 (framing: Gain vs. Loss) between-subjects experiment (N = 130), and found that VR triggered more fearful responses, which in turn led to more persuasive outcomes. It also increased individuals’ attitudes toward climate change mitigation policy when the experience was loss-framed, but backfired when the experience was gain-framed. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-304
Number of pages29
JournalScience Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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