Master of Arts (MA)
Immersive virtual environments are simulated locations that attempt to create a sense of presence, or the psychological feeling that an individual is acting within the simulated environment rather than their physical one. When interfacing with an interactive virtual environment, evidence suggests that aspects of psychological presence are affected, such as time perception and situation awareness. As such, this study hypothesized presence as the construct by which immersive virtual environment usage influences time perception and situation awareness. Two levels of presence were manipulated using a monitor and Oculus Rift. Forty-one participants were tasked with a scavenger hunt in both monitor and virtual reality conditions, reported their perception of how much time has passed, and answered probe questions testing their situation awareness. Manipulating level of immersion did not significantly affect presence between conditions. Time perception was not significantly correlated with presence scores in either condition. Situation awareness was not significantly correlated with presence in the virtual reality condition but was found to be negatively correlated with presence in the monitor condition. Presence was not found to have a positive relationship with situation awareness and time perception as predicted, but higher levels of immersion was found to increase situation awareness and lengthen subjective experience of time. Presence does not appear to be the construct responsible for changes in situation awareness and time perception and further study is required.
Wu, Steven L., "Psychological Presence in Immersive Virtual Environments" (2018). Master's Theses. 4991.