Matthew Lombard &Theresa Ditton (1997) – At the Heart of It All: The Concept of Presence

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Presence – “Being there”: social richness, realism, transportation, immersion, social actor within medium & as social actor

Social realism – Content seems realistic
Perceptual realism – Looks seems realistic

Examples of realism: Media pesonality is incorrectly perceived as a social actor. Intelligent computer agents (avatars) make the interaction more like interacting with another human. Computer users also follow social rules concerning politeness and gender stereotypes. Also the television set is perceived as a communicative partner. When medium itself presents us with social cues normally reserved for human-human interaction we are likely to perceive it as not a medium but as an social entity.

Virtual reality wraps around the user, like reader of a book is swallowed by the story. Examples of user reactions to consumer VR: “involvement”, “intense”, “fun”, “competitive”, “addictive”, and “exciting”. It should be noted that the illusion does not represent a perceptual or psychological malfunction or psychosis, in which the mediated experience is consciously confused with what is nonmediated or “real”. In some media the content is more realistic than in others and personal factors affect on the presence. Computer users recognize a computer’s “personality” as submissive or dominant and as in human-to-human interaction prefer the personality similar to their own.

Charasteristic determinants of presence involve sensory richness and vividness. For example, media that provide both audio and visual stimuli produce greater sense of presence than audio only.
Enhancing the visual determinants: image quality, image size, viewing distance, motion, color, dimensionality, camera techniques, [and light effects]. Common responses to rapid point-of-view changes queasiness, dizziness, and nausea.
Enhancing the audio determinants: sound quality, spatial characteristics, volume.
And other senses too…
Automatic responses such as flinching, ducking, and tightly grasping one’s chair are also potential effects of presence.

Interactive media experience: temporal ordering, spatial organization, intensity (of volume, color..), frequency/tone, size, [shape, sharpness/texture], duration, pace. Highly responsive environment, even with unnatural responses, could evoke a greater sense of presence. Adding more than one person in the virtual world induces the sense of presence.
Using realizations (like unseen narrator or clock showing time passage) is likely to interfere with a sence of presence. Also user’s knowledge of the (technical) background/solutions hinders the feeling of presence. Some willingness to suspend disbelief is important. Also “hiding” the technology is suggested.

Films, video games, and VR entertainment are often designed to be arousing (but sometimes relaxing). VR is used in medical applications (e.g. treating fear of heights) and skill training (e.g. pilot training).

“Entering another world” – Perhaps the most prominent psychological impact of presence is enjoyment and delight.

This article was bit out of the topic of the UX. Iit was mostly just a listing of presence factors and their functionality.

Posted by Sampo Teräs

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