UCT CS Research Document Archive

Content knowledge and thematic inertia predict virtual presence

Nunez, David and Edwin Blake (2006) Content knowledge and thematic inertia predict virtual presence. In Bracken, C C and M Lombard, Eds. Proceedings 9th International Workshop on Presence, pages 38-49, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

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This paper informs the debate between the impact of content and form factors on presence. From cognitive principles, we predict that the content of a VE will affect presence by interacting with expectations held by the user. Furthermore, a particular cognitive tendency (thematic inertia), should facilitate the effect of the expectations. A sample of 461 users of desktop based flight simulations was measured on ten predictors, including degree of simulation related content knowledge (generalized and specific knowledge), thematic inertia, as well as controls for age and immersion/display factors. The ITC-SOPI was the dependent variable. The data suggest that content factors explain almost as much presence variance as form (immersion) factors. As predicted, thematic inertia is a reliable predictor. Also, the degree of generality of content knowledge predicts presence (with knowledge of the specific content being an inverse predictor). This strongly suggests that the degree to which a simulation is able to match the expectations of its users is an important element of the presence experience.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:Presence, Content, Cognition
Subjects:I Computing Methodologies: I.3 COMPUTER GRAPHICS
ID Code:414
Deposited By:Blake, Edwin H
Deposited On:24 September 2007
Alternative Locations:http://www.temple.edu/ispr/prev conferences/proceedings/2006/confindex.html