Full Text


Tilo Hartmann

Subject Psychology
Communication Studies » Communication Reception and Effects

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Presence, in its broadest sense, is a media user's state that is characterized by the illusion of nonmediation. If present, media users are temporarily unaware of the mediated origin of their experience. Their thoughts, feelings, and behavior tend to react to the media content as if the portrayed scenery, persons, or objects were real, because the general artificiality of media imitation produced by human-made technology is not recognized ( International Society for Presence Research 2001 ; →  Media Equation Theory ). As a psychological state, presence is determined by the interplay of both situational or enduring individual factors, and environmental factors, which include qualities of the media technology and aspects of the content. The potential of the media technology to evoke illusions of nonmediation is addressed as its “immersive quality” ( Slater & Steed 2000 ). The greater the likelihood that technological aspects or content factors foster the formation of presence, the more immersive is a medium. As any kind of media experience builds on subjective →  perceptions , however, low-immersive media might also initiate a state of presence if users are susceptible to forget about the illusory origins of their experiences (for relevant individual factors, like a person's willingness to suspend disbelief, see Wirth et al. 2007 ; →  Suspension of Disbelief ). The umbrella term ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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