Article ID: TJSKE-D-15-00052
Rapid urbanization and information technology has reduced human connection and a sense of regional community among local populations around the world. This may have led to a decrease in people's sense of belonging and feelings of fellowship toward their neighbors and towns. We hypothesized that one's sense of belonging and feelings of fellowship toward their town will increase after hearing the sounds of bells. Participants were asked to observe virtual scenes in which they heard the bell signaling every hour. We assessed how listening to the bell influenced participants' feelings of community membership and whether viewing particular scenes and the sound increased these feelings and participants' sense of belonging. Results showed that for scenes involving an overhead view of the bell, e.g., scenes that included facilities such as temples or churches, participants reported an increased immersive experience. as a result of the shared sense of time with their neighbors.