May i experience more presence in doing the same thing in virtual reality than in reality? An answer from a simulated job interview

D. Villani, C. Repetto, P. Cipresso, G. Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Is it possible to experience more presence in doing the same thing in virtual reality than in reality? According to the well known definition of presence as "disappearance of mediation", the answer is no: technology is a barrier, a mediating tool that can only reduce the level of presence experienced in an interaction. However, the increasing diffusion of a technology like augmented reality that adds a technological layer of information to the real world suggests the opposite: the experience of "being there" may be influenced by the ability of "making sense there". To explore this issue we used a sample of 20 university students to evaluate the level of presence experienced in two different settings: an immersive virtual reality job simulation and a real world simulation that was identical to its VR counterpart (same interviewer, same questions) but without technological mediation and without any social and cultural cues in the environment that may give a better meaning to both the task and its social context. Self-report data, and in particular the scores in the Spatial Presence and the Ecological Validity ITC-SOPI scales, suggest that experienced presence was higher during the virtual interview than in the real world simulation. This interpretation was confirmed by subjective (higher in VR) but not by objective (Skin Conductance) anxiety scores. These data suggest a vision of presence as a social construction, in which reality is co-constructed in the relationship between actors and their environments through the mediation of physical and cultural artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalInteracting with Computers
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Anxiety state
  • Job interview
  • Presence
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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