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See detailUne audience virtuelle pour l’entrainement de la fluence de parole lors d’une prise de parole en public : Etude pilote
Menjot, Pauline; Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

in Cahiers de l'ASELF (in press)

Contexte : Prendre la parole face à une audience est un défi pour beaucoup. Elle est considérée comme l’une des activités les plus craintes. L’anxiété liée à la prise de parole en public a un impact sur ... [more ▼]

Contexte : Prendre la parole face à une audience est un défi pour beaucoup. Elle est considérée comme l’une des activités les plus craintes. L’anxiété liée à la prise de parole en public a un impact sur les performances de communication, notamment sur la fluence de parole. La littérature met en évidence les bénéfices d’un entrainement ciblant les compétences communicationnelles liées à cette activité. Néanmoins, son implémentation dans des situations proches du monde réel reste complexe. Par conséquent, la réalité virtuelle pourrait être un outil novateur et pertinent pour ce type d’entrainement. Objectifs : Cette étude vise à valider l’utilisation d’une audience virtuelle pour l’entrainement de la prise de parole en public en évaluant sa capacité à susciter des réactions émotionnelles (en termes d’anxiété) et comportementales (en termes de disfluences). Méthodologie : Huit participants ont réalisé une présentation orale dans trois conditions : 1) face à un public réel (Vivo_Public), 2) devant un public virtuel (Virtuo_Public) et 3) dans une salle de conférence virtuelle sans public (Virtuo_Vide). Les disfluences et le niveau d’anxiété des participants ont été analysés. Le vécu de l’immersion dans l’environnement virtuel a quant à lui été évalué au moyen d’un questionnaire portant sur le sentiment de présence et les cybermalaises. Résultats : Les réactions comportementales, le sentiment de présence satisfaisant et l’absence de cybermalaises suggèrent que cet environnement virtuel est un outil prometteur pour l’entrainement à la prise de parole en public. Conclusion : Cette étude est la première étape d’un projet à long terme. Elle a permis de mettre en évidence les éléments positifs de cette audience virtuelle ainsi que ceux nécessitant une amélioration. D’autres études sont toutefois nécessaires pour améliorer cet environnement et confirmer statistiquement sa validité écologique. [less ▲]

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See detailCovid-19: contribution of clinical characteristics and laboratory features for early detection of patients with high risk of severe evolution
Sepulchre, Edith; Pittie, Guillaume; Stojkovic, Violeta et al

in Acta Clinica Belgica (in press)

The aim of this study was to identify early clinical and laboratory predictive factors of a severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The study revealed clinical and laboratory features able to predict ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to identify early clinical and laboratory predictive factors of a severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The study revealed clinical and laboratory features able to predict high risk of ICU requirement, or even death, at admission time. These results provide a potential tool for patient’s triage in a context of pandemic. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact de la Réalité Virtuelle sur le Niveau de Stress et le Sentiment de Compétence
Chaabane, Sourour ULiege; Etienne, Anne-Marie ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

in Journal of Traumatic Stress (2021, July 02)

Virtual reality (VR) exposure is used in clinical psychology to treat anxiety disorders. It is also used to enhance resilience in soldiers by allowing them to confront virtual combat environments to help ... [more ▼]

Virtual reality (VR) exposure is used in clinical psychology to treat anxiety disorders. It is also used to enhance resilience in soldiers by allowing them to confront virtual combat environments to help fortify them against the negative consequences of trauma exposure. Most VR studies have focused on military and emergency medical staff; however, thus far, none have investigated VR in ambulance workers (AWs), who are confronted with traumatic situations daily. The current study aimed to assess the impact of a single VR exposure session on self-perceived competence and stress level in a sample of AWs. Participants (N = 40) were randomly assigned to either a VR immersion (i.e., experimental group, n = 20) or an audio immersion (i.e., control group, n = 20) of a shooting attack situation. We hypothesized that compared to controls, VR participants would report decreased anxiety, as measured using visual analog scales, as well as an increased sense of competence. The results showed a significant reduction in fear in both groups, d = 0.33, and an increased sense of competence in VR participants, d = 0.35. Although our hypotheses were only partially confirmed, the observed beneficial effects of VR and the audio immersion on stress levels in AWs suggest that VR exposure could be a useful way to increase resilience in AWs. [less ▲]

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See detailSpeakInVR : validation of a virtual audience
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Poster (2021, May 28)

Introduction/Context: Nowadays public speaking is a vital skill in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the manager who defends ... [more ▼]

Introduction/Context: Nowadays public speaking is a vital skill in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the manager who defends his project in front of stakeholders, the candidate during a job interview, the professor in front of students, etc. However, social anxiety may impede oral presentation performances . Repeated training in front of an audience can help to better control the speaker’s emotions and skills, and improve speaking performances (Wallach et al., 2009). Given that training in front of a real audience can be logistically difficult to organize, virtual reality (VR) can be the solution. Nevertheless, the emotional impact of the virtual audience on the speaker will depend on the emotional valence and arousal they attribute to the audience’s avatars. Aim: The goal of the present study is to assess the emotional valence and arousal attributed to the avatars of a new virtual audience, depending on the avatars’ attitude. Method and material: Based on the methods from Chollet & Scherer (2017), 125 adults participated in this study. They rated the emotional valence and arousal of 8 avatars depending on their body posture, their face’s expressions, or their head movements. Results and conclusions: Results show that head movements were more readily linked to the emotional valence attributed to the avatars by the participants than were body postures and facial expressions. Furthermore, arousal seems to be directly linked with head movements and facial expressions. Full results from each parameter will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of a virtual audience for public speaking: Preliminary results
Menjot, Pauline ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Poster (2021, May 28)

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities (Furmark, 2002). Speaker’s anxiety influences their communication performance. While the literature highlights the benefits of public ... [more ▼]

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities (Furmark, 2002). Speaker’s anxiety influences their communication performance. While the literature highlights the benefits of public speaking training, is complex to implement in real -life (Goberman et al., 2011). Hence, virtual reality (VR) could be a viable alternative tool (Owens & Beidel, 2015). The aim of this study was to validate a virtual audience for public speaking by assessing its qualities (i.e., feeling of presence and cybersickness) and its ability to elicit emotional (i.e., anxiety) and behavioral (i.e., dysfluencies) reactions. Methodology. Forty participants without social anxiety (attested to by the PRCS, Heeren et al., 2013 ; LSAS-SR, Heeren et al., 2012 ; and BFNE-S, Rodebaugh et al., 2004) or fluency disorders (confirmed by the SSI-4, Riley, 2009) were recruited. They had to give an oral presentation under three counterbalanced conditions (in an empty virtual conference room and in front of virtual and real audiences). We aimed to analyze their speech and anxiety and the quality of VR. Due to the health crisis, this methodology was only pre-tested on 8 participants. However, positive results, including a sufficient feeling of presence and the lack of cybersickness, suggest that this virtual audience can be a relevant tool. Conclusions. The methodology will be discussed in light of these first positive results, on the one hand, and of the characteristics that can be improved (realism of the virtual audience and methodological limits), on the other hand, for the benefit of future studies. References Furmark, T. (2002). Social phobia: Overview of community surveys. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 105(2), 84–93. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.1r103.x Goberman, A. M., Hughes, S., & Haydock, T. (2011). Acoustic characteristics of public speaking: Anxiety and practice effects. Speech Communication, 53(6), 867–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2011.02.005 Heeren, A., Ceschi, G., Valentiner, D. P., Dethier, V., & Philippot, P. (2013). Assessing public speaking fear with the short form of the personal report of confidence as a speaker scale: Confirmatory factor analyses among a French-speaking community sample. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 9, 609–618. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S43097 Heeren, A., Maurage, P., Rossignol, M., Vanhaelen, M., Peschard, V., Eeckhout, C., & Philippot, P. (2012). Self-report version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale: Psychometric properties of the French version. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 44(2), 99–107. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026249 Owens, M. E., & Beidel, D. C. (2015). Can virtual reality effectively elicit distress associated with social anxiety disorder? Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 37(2), 296–305. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-014-9454-x Rodebaugh, T. L., Woods, C. M., Thissen, D. M., Heimberg, R. G., Chambless, D. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2004). More information from fewer questions: The factor structure and item properties of the original and brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Psychological Assessment, 16(2), 169–181. https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-3590.16.2.169 [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of Virtual Reality on Stress Level and Sense of Competence in Ambulance Workers
Chaabane, Sourour ULiege; Etienne, Anne-Marie ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

in Journal of Traumatic Stress (2021)

Virtual reality (VR) exposure is one of the tools used in clinical psychology to treat anxiety dis-orders. It is also used to enhance the resilience of soldiers by confronting them with virtual combat ... [more ▼]

Virtual reality (VR) exposure is one of the tools used in clinical psychology to treat anxiety dis-orders. It is also used to enhance the resilience of soldiers by confronting them with virtual combat environments. Increasing their resilience could strengthen them against the negative consequences of trauma exposure or the suffering experienced by people they rescued. Most studies focused on military and emergency medical staff but none has so far investigated ambu-lance workers’ experience (AW) while they are daily confronted with traumatic situations. The current study aims to assess the impact of a single VR exposure session on AW’ competence and stress. Forty participants were randomly assigned to either a VR immersion (experimental group, N = 20) or an audio immersion (control group, N = 20) of a shooting attack situation. The main hypotheses were that VR would lead to a decrease of anxiety, as measured by visual analogue scales, as well as an increase in the sense of competence compared to the control situa-tion. Results showed a significant reduction in the fear in both groups. Besides, results revealed an increase of the sense of competence after the VR immersion, and a reduction of the tension in the control group, even if these differences did not reach statistical significance’s level (p = 0.06). Although our hypotheses were only partially confirmed, since beneficial effects of either VR and the audio description on stress were observed, findings suggested that VR exposure could be a useful way to increase the resilience of the AW. [less ▲]

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See detailA virtual audience for public speaking: A pilot study
Menjot, Pauline; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Poster (2020, December 01)

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities, with approximately two-thirds of undergraduates afraid to speak in public (Ferreira Marinho et al., 2017). This form of anxiety has ... [more ▼]

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities, with approximately two-thirds of undergraduates afraid to speak in public (Ferreira Marinho et al., 2017). This form of anxiety has consequences on communication performance (King & Finn, 2017), particularly on speech fluency (Goberman et al., 2011), and quality of speech can influence a speaker’s career success (Wörtwein et al., 2015). While the literature highlights the benefits of public speaking training on communication performance (Goberman et al., 2011), its implementation is complex. Therefore, virtual reality (VR) seems to be an innovative and relevant tool for clinicians. Aims. This study aims to validate the use of a virtual audience for public speaking by assessing its capacity to elicit emotional (i.e. anxiety) and behavioral (i.e. disfluencies) responses confirming its ecological validity. Methodology. Eight participants made an oral presentation in front of a virtual audience. Their speech disfluencies and anxiety were analyzed. They also completed questionnaires assessing the quality of VR based on the feeling of presence and side effects (i.e. cybersickness). Results. The emotional (anxiety) and behavioral responses (speech disfluencies), the sufficient feeling of presence, and the absence of cybersickness suggest that this virtual audience can be a relevant tool for public speaking training and rehabilitation. Conclusions. This pilot study is the first step in a long-term project. It highlights the positive points of a virtual audience as well as those requiring improvement. Further studies are needed to enhance this virtual environment and statistically confirm its ecological validity. References: - Ferreira Marinho, A. C., Mesquita de Medeiros, A., Côrtes Gama, A. C., & Caldas Teixeira, L. (2017). Fear of Public Speaking: Perception of College Students and Correlates. Journal of Voice, 31(1), 7-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2015.12.012 - Goberman, A. M., Hughes, S., & Haydock, T. (2011). Acoustic characteristics of public speaking: Anxiety and practice effects. Speech Communication, 53(6), 867–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2011.02.005 - King, P. E., & Finn, A. N. (2017). A test of attention control theory in public speaking: cognitive load influences the relationship between state anxiety and verbal production. Communication Education, 66(2), 168–182. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2016.1272128 - Wörtwein, T., Chollet, M., Schauerte, B., Morency, L.-P., Stiefelhagen, R., & Scherer, S. (2015). Multimodal Public Speaking Performance Assessment. International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, 43–50. https://doi.org/10.1145/2818346.2820762 [less ▲]

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See detailSpeakInVR : Validation d'une audience virtuelle
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Speech/Talk (2020)

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See detailSPEAKinVR: validation of a virtual audience
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Conference (2020, April 30)

The main goal of this paper is to validate a virtual reality environment for public speaking training. Following Slater’s terminology (2003), there are two important concepts in VR: “immersion which ... [more ▼]

The main goal of this paper is to validate a virtual reality environment for public speaking training. Following Slater’s terminology (2003), there are two important concepts in VR: “immersion which stands for what the technology delivers from an objective point of view” and presence which is “the human reaction to immersion”, i.e., the participant’s subjective sense of being in the virtual place. The reactions of the audience can have a significant impact on the speaker’s emotions and performance. At a first level, our hypothesis is that interactivity has a positive impact on the presence feeling. At a higher level, as already shown by Chollet et al. (2015), interactivity in VR is also a major ingredient in the training process. It is therefore essential to know if the users perceive the interactions in the virtual environment as representative of the reality and how each one is interpreted. There are two main dimensions in the context of emotion and affect: arousal and valence. As defined by Chollet and Scherer (2017), “arousal can be understood as an audience member’s level of alertness, and valence corresponds to how positively or negatively the person feels toward the speaker or the presentation”. In their paper, they tried to understand how users perceive virtual audience based on the nonverbal behavior of audience members. Our first question is to investigate which attitudes the characters must display and how people perceive the individual members of the audience in terms of their states of arousal and valence. A second related question is linked to the level of reality used to represent the public. The characters in virtual environments, i.e. avatars, are most often synthetic images. In some cases, photorealistic representations are used but the level of animation is then generally extremely limited. In this context, our second research question investigates whether the use of fully rigged 3D photogrammetric models, i.e. with a skeleton we can animate, can significantly improve the user’s presence. [less ▲]

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See detailSPEAKInVR : Validation d’une audience virtuelle
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2020, March 12)

Nowadays public speaking is one of the most important skills a person should develop. Such a skill is vital in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a ... [more ▼]

Nowadays public speaking is one of the most important skills a person should develop. Such a skill is vital in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the tourist guide visiting a city with a group, the manager who defends his project in front of stakeholders, the candidate during a job interview, the professor in front of students… Unfortunately, many firms complain about the too low level of this skill within their staff. The global theme of our work is to look for innovative solutions leading to an improvement of public speaking performances. The global project aims to help people to speak in public by training them in a realistic and interactive VR environment providing some feedbacks. Unity 3D engine was used to create a first basic version of the tool. 3D avatars have been designed and animated to represent some common audience postures, corresponding to different degrees of arousal and valence, and some classical situations as people typing on laptops or playing with smartphones. 3D photogrammetric versions of these avatars will soon be completed for testing increased realism. The objective of this presentation is to validate the virtual audience. [less ▲]

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See detailPredictive Maintenance of Technical Faults in Aircraft
Peters, Florian ULiege; Aerts, Stéphanie ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege

Conference (2020, January 30)

A key issue for handlers in the air cargo industry is arrival delays due to aircraft maintenance. This work focuses on a particular delay caused by technical faults called technical delays. Using real ... [more ▼]

A key issue for handlers in the air cargo industry is arrival delays due to aircraft maintenance. This work focuses on a particular delay caused by technical faults called technical delays. Using real data from a cargo handler company, different classification models that can predict technical delay occurrence are compared. A new decision tree extension is also proposed based on a study by Hoffait & Schyns (2017). The final results present a good starting point for future research. [less ▲]

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See detailThe contribution of augmented reality in architectural education
Gantjimirov, Hassan; Leblanc, Pierre ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Conference (2019, November)

Despite its importance, the specific issue of performance and reading of sketches in augmented reality does not seem to have been analyzed recently. Indeed, even if many articles have been published in ... [more ▼]

Despite its importance, the specific issue of performance and reading of sketches in augmented reality does not seem to have been analyzed recently. Indeed, even if many articles have been published in connection with VR or RA in architecture, the questions studied are very varied and often related to specific applications. Recent literature, based on new technologies available since 2016, is also very limited. The research presented here was carried out within the pedagogical framework offered by the construction course taught to first-year students in the Faculty of Architecture of ULiège. The general objective of this course is to introduce students to a graphic approach framework that links construction technologies to the development of an architectural project. Students explore different construction techniques through the drawing of technical details. A first exploratory approach was carried out last year during the development of a prototype. It shows us the feasibility of the project and some pitfalls to avoid. The main objective of the project is to study the impact of augmented reality on the performance and skills acquisition of architecture students. It focuses on reading plans and sketches of technical construction drawings in order to identify the contributions of 3D spatialization. [less ▲]

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See detailComment placer l'humain au centre de mon projet en réalité augmentée ou virtuelle
Schyns, Michael ULiege

Conference given outside the academic context (2019)

La VR/AR/XR a connu un renouveau récemment avec du matériel plus performant et plus accessible. Beaucoup de questions se posent encore alors que les experts reconnaissent un potentiel énorme pour ces ... [more ▼]

La VR/AR/XR a connu un renouveau récemment avec du matériel plus performant et plus accessible. Beaucoup de questions se posent encore alors que les experts reconnaissent un potentiel énorme pour ces technologies (Apple’s CEO Tim Cook: “[Augmented Reality] I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone ” ). Cela amène à deux démarches de notre part. D’une part, mon service teste de nouvelles technologies et approches pour rendre les environnements créés plus réalistes, confortables et performants. D’autre part, notre équipe analyse l’impact réel de la RV/AR/XR sur les processus d’apprentissage et de gestion des entreprises. Sur cette base, nous tentons d’optimiser les environnements pour un retour maximum. Trois questions sont en particulier soulevées dans cette présentation: Comment augmenter les capacités d’apprentissage ? Comment faire pour que l’humain reste au centre d’un projet d’AR/VR ? Comment le succès de toute technologie se définit par le fait qu’elle devient invisible ? [less ▲]

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See detailDévelopper des environnements virtuels pour l'enseignement. Teaching with VR
Billen, Roland ULiege; Dozo, Björn-Olav ULiege; Etienne, Anne-Marie ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2018, December 19)

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See detailExperimental investigation of decision-making processes in daily physically active behaviors using a virtual reality set-up
Ruffault, Alexis ULiege; Cloes, Marc ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Poster (2018, August)

Background: Energy expenditure provided by physical activity (PA) can be significantly increased by daily behaviors (stair use, walking). However, factors from the environment, and motivational and ... [more ▼]

Background: Energy expenditure provided by physical activity (PA) can be significantly increased by daily behaviors (stair use, walking). However, factors from the environment, and motivational and volitional processes, tend to impact the decisions when an active solution (stairs) is available at the same time as an inactive solution (elevator). The aim of this study is to identify the decision-making processes implicated in daily PA when time and effort to reach an objective (e.g., a meeting) vary. Methods: 150 healthy adults will be randomized to one of three experiments after filling out questionnaires measuring habits regarding PA, motivational, and volitional factors of PA adoption. Experiment 1 is a first-person 3D interactive movie where 3 actors are waiting at the point-of-decision, where peers’ behaviors and availability of the inactive solution vary. Experiment 2 is a virtual replication of a business school, where previous knowledge of the building and disposition of the stairs (hidden/visible) vary. Experiment 3 is a virtual modified version of the business school where a stairwell and an escalator provide access to the first floor, using implicit (steps on the floor) and explicit (motivational messages) as point-of-decision prompts. Expected results: Results will be analyzed in line with the integrated behavior change model (Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2014) and the naturalistic decision-making theory (Klein, 2015). Current stage of work: Participants will be contacted for experimentations from February to June 2018. Discussion: Real time decision-making processes will be linked to processes of change regarding PA, allowing for recommendations for future interventional designs. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling competition among airline itineraries
Lurkin, Virginie ULiege; Garrow, Laurie A.; Higgins, Matthew J. et al

in Transportation Research. Part A, Policy and Practice (2018), 113

Discrete choice models are commonly used to forecast the probability an airline passenger chooses a specific itinerary. In a prior study, we estimated an itinerary choice model based on a multinomial ... [more ▼]

Discrete choice models are commonly used to forecast the probability an airline passenger chooses a specific itinerary. In a prior study, we estimated an itinerary choice model based on a multinomial logit specification that corrected for price endogeneity. In this paper, we extend the analysis to include inter-itinerary competition along three dimensions: nonstop versus connecting level of service, carrier, and time of day using nested logit (NL) and ordered generalized extreme value (OGEV) models. To the best of our knowledge, these are the first NL and OGEV itinerary choice models to correct for price endogeneity. Despite the many structural changes that have occurred in the airline industry, our results are strikingly similar to models estimated more than a decade ago. These results are important because it suggests that customer preferences, on average, have been stable over time and are similar across distribution channels. The stability in inter-itinerary competition patterns provides an important practical implication for airlines, namely it reduces the need to frequently update the parameter estimates for these models. [less ▲]

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