2021 Student Research Project | The Effect of Biophilic Classroom Environment on Stress Reaction and Cognitive Function: A Randomized Crossover Study in Virtual Reality (VR)

Supervisor: John Ji, Adjunct Associate Professor in Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University; Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University

Project Description

The study examines whether biophilic elements like daylight, green plants, natural materials as well as turbidity would visually affect people’s stress level and their cognitive functions by letting participants experience different classroom settings and compare the recorded measurements within subjects. The study reveals that while a biophilic environment could have positive effects on people’s perception of stress level, too many indoor biophilic elements such as a wall of green plants may serve the opposite role. In addition, our findings also strike the truth that how the virtual environment could influence the individual might not be consistent with their subjective perception of what they saw in the picture.

Student Researchers

Jicheng You is a senior at Duke Kunshan University. He majors in Cell and Molecular Biology. He is interested in finding the biological basis of people’s behavior. He decided to take on the responsibility of carrying out this project because he wants to find the possibility of using VR to influence people and change the real world.

Xinyi Wen is an undergraduate student from Class of 2022 who majors in Environmental Science/Biogeochemistry. Xinyi is interested in exploring the impacts of the environment on human health and science communication. She is mainly responsible for preparing recruitment materials, designing surveys, contacting participants, conducting experiments, and data analysis in this project.

Research Poster