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The role of plausibility in the experience of spatial presence in virtual environments


Hofer, Matthias; Hartmann, Tilo; Eden, Allison; Ratan, Rabindra; Hahn, Lindsay (2020). The role of plausibility in the experience of spatial presence in virtual environments. Frontiers in virtual reality, 1:2.

Abstract

In the present study, we examine the effect of plausibility violations in a virtual environment (VE) on spatial presence. After reviewing research on the association between plausibility and spatial presence, we present a dual-systems approach to understanding the effect of plausibility (or violations thereof) on spatial presence. We conceptualize the feeling of being present in a VE as a lower-order cognitive process. Perceptions of plausibility violations might represent higher-order cognitive processes that could interfere with spatial presence. We present data from an experimental study in which we manipulated the external consistency (i.e., the plausibility) of the VE, cognitive load (to interfere with higher-order cognitive processes), and immersion to examine its effect on spatial presence. Results show that immersion was the most important factor driving the presence experience. We found no difference between low and high plausibility in spatial presence. Subsequent equivalence tests showed that the group exposed to the implausible VE did not feel less present than the group exposed to the plausible VE. We discuss the findings of our studies in light of our theoretical considerations and previous research.

Abstract

In the present study, we examine the effect of plausibility violations in a virtual environment (VE) on spatial presence. After reviewing research on the association between plausibility and spatial presence, we present a dual-systems approach to understanding the effect of plausibility (or violations thereof) on spatial presence. We conceptualize the feeling of being present in a VE as a lower-order cognitive process. Perceptions of plausibility violations might represent higher-order cognitive processes that could interfere with spatial presence. We present data from an experimental study in which we manipulated the external consistency (i.e., the plausibility) of the VE, cognitive load (to interfere with higher-order cognitive processes), and immersion to examine its effect on spatial presence. Results show that immersion was the most important factor driving the presence experience. We found no difference between low and high plausibility in spatial presence. Subsequent equivalence tests showed that the group exposed to the implausible VE did not feel less present than the group exposed to the plausible VE. We discuss the findings of our studies in light of our theoretical considerations and previous research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:7 April 2020
Deposited On:29 Jan 2021 15:32
Last Modified:19 Feb 2021 09:37
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:2673-4192
OA Status:Gold
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2020.00002

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