Immersive environments are known for fostering empathy via their technological properties that offer users the opportunity to get immersed in a virtual environment and take other perspectives. As empathy and perspective-taking are considered to be the basis of moral development, the present study examines the potential of historical immersive media applications for the individual's moral development according to Kohlberg's stage model (1958). An integrative approach was used to examine the role of technological immersion as well as the recipients’ immersion (presence, transportation) in eliciting empathy and promoting moral development and behavior. Therefore, an online experiment with one factorial between-subject design was conducted in which participants (N = 289) were exposed to historical media that differed only in their extent of technological immersion; participants either read a text, or watched a video, or a 360° video. In line with previous research, results showed that technological immersion positively affects presence, while transportation was not influenced by technological aspects. Furthermore, results revealed positive effects of transportation and presence on empathy which in turn was positively related to moral orientation and behavior. The study indicates that immersive historical environments can promote empathy and morality due to their immersive characteristics.

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