VR headsets can be used to help cure paranoia, study shows

We're just now learning about the wonders of virtual reality, and a new study from Oxford University is showing a medicinal side to the tech platform.

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
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Daniel Van Boom

With VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive just now hitting store shelves, we're quickly learning the potential of virtual reality.

But it's not just consumers who are seeing what the nascent platform can do, but academics as well. A study from Oxford University has found that VR can be used to help the 1 to 2 percent of the population that it says lives with severe paranoia.

Paranoia, defined as "unfounded fear that others are deliberately trying to harm you," was seen to have drastically reduced in 30 patients that were put under VR simulations of social situations they would otherwise fear.

The study showed that the patients' ameliorated feelings of paranoia carried over to the real world. You can see a more detailed explanation of the procedure and results in the video above.