University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring presence in virtual reality

Budhram, D.R. (2021) Exploring presence in virtual reality.

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Abstract:Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for many decades, and new applications are developed every day, but widespread acceptance and adoption has been notably slow. Part of this reluctance on the part of users may be due to the efficacy of VR in providing a genuine, impactful experience. One of the overarching goals of VR is to create “presence,” a concept that captures how deeply a user is immersed in a simulated world. The fundamental dimensions of presence are explored in this study to better understand it and its dynamics. Spatial presence, involvement, and perceived realism are the three dimensions of presence that were assessed. These were measured against the user variables of personality traits (extraversion, openness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and agreeableness) and individuals’ familiarity with virtual reality. The key research question is: ‘Do personality traits or experience with virtual reality significantly relate with or affect the experience of spatial presence, involvement, and perceived realism among virtual reality users?’ A quantitative research design is used to address this primary question, incorporating data from 38 users. The BFI, which assesses participants’ personality, was used to gather data. The users then participated in two VR scenarios before completing the Igroup Presence Questionnaire to evaluate their sense of presence during the second simulation. To demonstrate coherence between the dimensions of presence, personality traits, and VR familiarity, correlation and regression analysis were used, along with two non-parametric tests. The findings of this study demonstrate the ways in which previous experience and personality traits influence each dimension of presence, and thus how they can help improve VR efficacy. Primarily, the findings demonstrated that experience with VR correlates in parts to a lower sense of presence, while the personality traits of extraversion and openness correlate in parts to a higher sense of presence. For VR to be successful, therefore, different types of simulations with varying levels of intensity need to be available for different types of people and applications.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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