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17 March 2015 On the usefulness of the concept of presence in virtual reality applications
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Abstract
Virtual Reality (VR) leads to realistic experimental situations, while enabling researchers to have deterministic control on these situations, and to precisely measure participants' behavior. However, because more realistic and complex situations can be implemented, important questions arise, concerning the validity and representativeness of the observed behavior, with reference to a real situation. One example is the investigation of a critical (virtually dangerous) situation, in which the participant knows that no actual threat is present in the simulated situation, and might thus exhibit a behavioral response that is far from reality. This poses serious problems, for instance in training situations, in terms of transfer of learning to a real situation. Facing this difficult question, it seems necessary to study the relationships between three factors: immersion (physical realism), presence (psychological realism) and behavior. We propose a conceptual framework, in which presence is a necessary condition for the emergence of a behavior that is representative of what is observed in real conditions. Presence itself depends not only on physical immersive characteristics of the Virtual Reality setup, but also on contextual and psychological factors.
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Daniel R. Mestre "On the usefulness of the concept of presence in virtual reality applications", Proc. SPIE 9392, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2015, 93920J (17 March 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2075798
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