Questionnaire measures and physiological correlates of presence: A systematic review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionFrontiers in Psychology. 2020, 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00349
The published literature has produced several definitions for the sense of presence in a simulated environment, as well as various methods for measuring it. The variety of conceptualizations makes it difficult for researchers to interpret, compare, and evaluate the presence ratings obtained from individual studies. Presence has been measured by employing questionnaires, physiological indices, behavioral feedbacks, and interviews. A systematic literature review was conducted to provide insight into the definitions and measurements of presence in studies from 2002 to 2019, with a focus on questionnaires and physiological measures. The review showed that scholars had introduced various definitions of presence that often originate from different theoretical standpoints and that this has produced a multitude of different questionnaires that aim to measure presence. At the same time, physiological studies that investigate the physiological correlates of the sense of presence have often shown ambiguous results or have not been replicated. Most of the scholars have preferred the use of questionnaires, with Witmer and Singer's Presence Questionnaire being the most prevalent. Among the physiological measures, electroencephalography was the most frequently used. The conclusions of the present review aim to stimulate future structured efforts to standardize the use of the construct of presence, as well as inspire the replication of the findings reported in the published literature.