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Presence equation: an investigation into cognitive factor underlying presence

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date10/2003
JournalPresence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Number of pages15
Original languageEnglish


The relationship between presence and cognitive factors such as absorption, creative imagination, empathy, and will ingness to experience presence was investigated. Presence was defined, operationalized, and measured using a ques tionnaire that we devised. Absorption and creative imagina tion were measured using questionnaires developed in the area of hypnosis, and empathy was assessed through an interpersonal reactivity index. Results indicated significant correlations between presence and each cognitive factor. They showed that persons who are highly fantasy prone, more empathic, more absorbed, more creative, or more willing to be transported to the virtual world experienced a greater sense of presence. Regression analysis led to a pres ence equation, which could be used to predict presence based on the investigated cognitive factors. Findings are congruent with user characteristics presented by the pres ence literature and support the position that individual dif ferences are important for the study of presence.

Bibliographic note

This paper is the first to explore the relationship between sense of presence experienced in virtual environments and personality factors such as absorption, creative imagination, empathy, and willingness to experience presence. Findings indicate that these factors predict sense of presence, and together they cover almost half of variance in presence. Such outcomes suggest a need to shift presence research from much-explored technological factors towards individual differences impacting on presence experience. This paper in the journal Presence is repeatedly cited within the studies focusing on individual differences on the sense of presence, and has 12 citations on Google scholar. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Computer Science and Informatics