A virtual psychosis experience develops empathy

We talk a lot about technology-supported psychological interventions for patients, but here's an example that turns the tables.  Drs. Yellowlees and Cook of the University of California, Davis created a virtual reality clinic experience that allowed participants in Second life to experience auditory and visual hallucinations associated with psychosis.

The majority of the 579 users who answered their survey (among over 800 who voluntarily toured the virtual clinic) reported that it improved their understanding of both auditory and visual hallucinations and that they would recommend it to a friend.  According to the results, the experience was both effective and rewarding in deepening empathy for participants.  See their paper for the full report: "Education about hallucinations using an internet virtual reality system: a qualitative survey" by Peter Yellowlees and James Cook in Academic Psychiatry