Zoom-Mde: The science explains why videoconferencing can be stressful

Zoom-Mde: The science explains why videoconferencing can be stressful


A team of scientists conducted a study to investigate why many people feel stressed and drained as a result of the sharp increase in video conferencing. Four factors contribute significantly to “zoom fatigue”.

Endless zoom calls make a lot of people mrbe

Professor Jeremy Pilinson is the founder of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Laboratory (VHIL), which has made people’s psychological and behavioral reactions to digital content the center of research for nearly 17 years. In scientific work on technology, psychology, and behavior that has been verified by experts, the team around Bailenson has now shed more light on the current trend: Many are increasingly feeling overwhelmed by the large number of videoconferencing. How Stanford News He writes, the team has now “systematically dismantled magnification fatigue from a psychological perspective” for the first time.

The first factor that, according to scholars, contributes to this phenomenon: excessive eye contact. “Social fear of public appearances is one of the biggest phobias that afflict our population,” explains Pellinson. The “abnormal” number of pairs of eyes that appear to be directed at us during video conferencing can have a very similar paralytic effect here.

If you use Zoom & Co. For several hours at a time, according to the researchers, “due to constant proximity to other faces,” we go into a “hyper-arousal state.” In order to lessen the brain’s reaction to these seemingly intense hours, the team recommends minimizing the size of the program window and avoiding using the full screen as a matter of principle.

Seeing yourself takes strength

And being able to look at yourself all the time can be a tiring thing, according to Bilinson, “as if someone was constantly following you in a mirror.” Here, too, this display should be limited to the smallest possible size or, at best, deactivate it completely. Researchers even suggest that video conferencing software providers should, at best, deactivate this functionality during meetings. Significantly reduced mobility can lead to frustration in zoom meetings. The recommendation here is to use an external camera to provide more room for movement or to simply deactivate the camera regularly for motion units.

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Last but not least, Bailenson sees one final crucial factor for the zoom fatigue: “You have to make sure the head is framed in the middle of the video,” he says. “If you want to show someone your approval, you have to shake your head exaggeratingly or raise your thumb up. This increases the cognitive burden, because you use mental calories to communicate.”

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Head, pain, skeleton
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