The relationship between presence and cognitive factors such as absorption, creative imagination, empathy, and willingness to experience presence was investigated. Presence was defined, operationalized, and measured using a questionnaire that we devised. Absorption and creative imagination 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 presence equation, which could be used to predict presence based on the investigated cognitive factors. Findings are congruent with user characteristics presented by the presence literature and support the position that individual differences are important for the study of presence.