In this article we will touch few topics:

What is the training

The subject of training, a very topical issue nowadays, has undergone major methodological changes due to technological innovation, but especially in the last two years due to the emergency we are still experiencing. Let’s start with the question that many people ask themselves: what does training mean? At first glance, this may seem like a trivial question, but the answer refers to various concepts derived from different theories, which in turn describe psychological processes that we have to deal with at every moment of our existence.

Lucio Gallotti, a trainer and work psychologist, has stated that ‘training is a pathway, the objective of which is learning’. In other words, it is a road to be traveled under the guidance of an experienced professional whose goal is the acquisition of new knowledge and/or skills. 

What is happening to training today

What is happening nowadays is a radical change in the way training is done and the tools used. Why these transformations? On the one hand, the continuous and fast technological innovation and, on the other hand, the experience of the last couple of years, which together have led to different and each time more complex needs and at the same time to increasing pressures and demands.

All this leads to the need for continuous training in all areas of our lives (work, sport, school, personal sphere). Several possibilities have recently opened up for integrating classroom training with online training: an innovative, dynamic and flexible way of training that very few people were used to 4 or 5 years ago. Today, however, it has become almost the norm and the aim is to make more and more use of this new method called e-learning. 

The aspect I would like to focus on is the new frontiers that have been developing in recent years: training through virtual reality. It has proved to be an excellent means of promoting learning thanks to its excellent adaptability, since it can reproduce any kind of virtual environment, allowing a dynamic approach to real problems. The most common applications in this field concern the treatment of phobia. It is the marked fear or anxiety towards a specific object or situation and involves intense anxiety at the limited exposure to the presence of a particular stimulus, the phobic stimulus.

Applications for the treatment of phobias are all based on “progressive exposure to the phobic stimulus and prevention of compulsive behavior” (DS). The study by Rothbaum and colleagues (2006) shows an equal benefit for the treatment of airplane phobia between VR and in vivo exposure, with a reduction in costs and time due to treatment with virtual reality.

Fear of driving, also known as amaxophobia, is a widespread phenomenon in Italy: 36% of men and 64% of women suffer from it. Also, in this case, many studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET): subjects with amaxophobia are exposed to the anxiety-provoking situation in controlled conditions, allowing them to experience the fear, without being in a truly dangerous situation. Thanks to this controlled exposure technique, subjects learn to manage their anxiety and maintain control. 

RV has also begun to complement the cognitive techniques that are used for eating disorders (DCA). Thanks to this technology it is possible to construct specific virtual environments very similar to the real ones, characterized by anxiety-provoking and discriminating elements (supermarkets or restaurants).

In this way, the individual can gradually learn to implement functional adaptive strategies in the virtual environment that can be easily transferred to the real context. RV training is also useful as a means of empowerment. One study that has demonstrated the effectiveness of virtual reality in this field is that aimed at military training, as it is much cheaper than traditional field training, the tasks are repeatable, monitoring is constant and carried out under completely safe conditions (Smith and Stell, 2001).

In the field of cognitive enhancement, virtual reality has become an important means of improving the athlete’s tactical and mental skills. 

All these examples represent training methods, because, as mentioned above, it involves a learning process. In these activities, from rehabilitation to mental training, the aim is to optimize certain behaviors by encouraging change and thus learning. It is important to remember that virtual reality is an important means of prevention and learning, which allows one to live an experience directly, to “immerse” oneself in the concrete situation, virtually simulated. The content of this multisensory interface (involving sight, hearing but also movement) allows participants to live individualized and emotionally engaging experiences in a controlled context, learning from them and bringing them back to the real environment (transferability of learning). 

One example is what Vrainers is doing, with the aim of having people experience highly immersive and interactive training.


B. K. Wiederhold and M. D. Wiederhold,1998. “A review of virtual reality as a psychotherapeutic tool”, CyberPsychology & Behavior, vol. 1, pp. 45-52.

C. J. Bonk, 2001. Online Teaching in an Online World, Bloomington, Ind.: CourseShare.

D. P. Pertaub, M. Slater, and C. Barker, 2001. “An experiment on fear of public speaking in virtual reality.”, Studies in health technology and informatics, vol. 81, pp. 372-8.

Devon, A., Adrian, V.M., 2018. Learning in virtual reality: Effects on performance, emotion and engagement. Res. Learn. Technol., 26.

Book – Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence: Risks and Opportunity


Are machines smarter than humans? What are the properly human capabilities we should focus on?

The primary objective is to understand the advantages and disadvantages of virtual and augmented reality and the differences between human and artificial intelligence. Moving on to a reflection: can creativity, empathy and imagination be reproduced or replicated by an artificial intelligence?

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