Investigations into human cognition typically control variables tightly in the laboratory or relinquish systematic control in field studies. Virtual Reality (VR) can provide an intermediate approach by facilitating research with complex but controlled environments. However, understanding of the correspondence between VR and laboratory paradigms is still limited. This study addresses this issue by comparing established laboratory tests of face identification with passport control at a VR airport. We show that test characteristics transcend comparison of the laboratory tests and VR and demonstrate consistent correlations between these tasks. However, person identification in VR was also marked by bias to accept mismatching identities. These findings support correspondence between laboratory tests of face perception and VR but also highlight the importance of understanding human behaviour under more complex conditions. This problem arises in many areas of psychology, and our study shows that VR offers a solution by providing complex but controlled environments.
|Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
|Published - 29 Apr 2022