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Effects of Exposure in Computer-Assisted Virtual Environments on Vocalists’ Performance Anxiety: A Quasi-Experimental Study

Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy Aims and scope Submit manuscript


As the use of virtual reality exposure training in treating various anxiety disorders including music performance anxiety increases, it is becoming more important to understand what components of virtual reality programs affect the effectiveness of the training. Thus, this study examines how various attributes of an exposure training program in a computer-assisted virtual environment affect vocalists’ music performance anxiety. This study also explores how different attributes of virtual reality programs affect five experiential dimensions of vocalists’ music performance anxiety. A quasi-experimental (pre- and post-exposure) design study exposes eighteen adult professional vocalists and those training to become professional vocalists with previous public performance experience to virtual performance situations with varying attributes. The results demonstrate that exposure training in the virtual environment significantly reduces the participants’ music performance anxiety. The results also demonstrate that different attributes of the programs affect the sensory, affective, cognitive, behavioral, and relational dimensions of the participants’ music performance anxiety differently. The insights the findings provide for the development of virtual reality exposure training programs and digital therapeutic applications for music performance anxiety and other types of anxiety and disorders are discussed.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.


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The authors thank People Insight Lab whose assistance with participant recruitment and data collection was critical in completing this study.


This study was conducted as a part of the Product Service Technology Development Project funded by the Korea Technology & Information Promotion Agency (TIPA) for Small and Medium Enterprises (Grant number: S2614433; Grant amount: 220,000,000KRW).

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Correspondence to Junyong Kim.

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Research Involving Human Participants

The study reported in this article involved human participants, and the IRB at People Insight Lab who was responsible for data collection reviewed and approved the study (IRB-201904-001).

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The participants consented to participate in the study after receiving detailed information about the tasks and the procedure they were to be exposed.

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ECI Co. Ltd., the first author’s company, has the license for all tangible and intangible outcomes produced based on the data and technology generated from the above-mentioned project, and the authors have no other conflict of interest to declare.

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Choi, S., Kim, J. & Kim, S. Effects of Exposure in Computer-Assisted Virtual Environments on Vocalists’ Performance Anxiety: A Quasi-Experimental Study. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther (2023).

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