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PsychNology Journal 17

  1. PsychNology 2010 Volume 17 Issue 1

PsychNology 2010 Volume 17 Issue 1

Front Matters, ToC and Editorial Preface BIBPDF 1-10
Exploring Self-Presence in Collaborative Virtual Teams BIBAKPDF 11-31
  Rabindra Ratan; Bèarice S. Hasler
The concept of self-presence provides a framework for understanding how people connect to virtual self-representations on three distinct levels (body, emotions, and identity). The present study aims to build on previous support for the reliability and construct validity of this framework. Participants (N=81) who used avatars in a semester-long collaborative virtual group project were examined. A factor analysis of the Self-Presence Questionnaire (SPQ) was mostly consistent with the framework of self-presence, though a new sub-factor emerged, possibly due to new SPQ items or limitations of the virtual environment. Factors of self-presence were related to social presence as expected, but not to frequency of avatar changes. These findings support the framework, but deeper explorations of the concept are still necessary.
Keywords: Self-Presence, Presence, Social Presence, Avatars, Identity, Computer-Mediated Communication, Collaborative Virtual Environments
Advancing a Model of Avatar Evaluation and Selection BIBAKPDF 33-65
  Mark A. Hamilton; Kristine L. Nowak
Viewers (N = 261) evaluated and chose avatars to represent them online. The viewers rated 92 potential avatars that were manipulated along three dimensions -- sex, humanness, and integrity. Perceived gender of the image, its anthropomorphic intensity, and realism mediated the effects of the manipulated variables on judgments of homophily as a representation of self, credibility, and the likelihood that it would be used as an avatar during future interactions. Results indicated that anthropomorphic intensity enhanced image homophily, in part by increasing perceived realism. Image gender was found to produce a combination of positive and negative effects on competence ratings and avatar choice. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Keywords: Avatar, realism, credibility, selection, anthropomorphic intensity, sex, humanness, integrity
Image versus Sound: A Comparison of Formal Feature Effects on Presence and Video Game Enjoyment BIBAKPDF 67-84
  Paul Skalski; Robert Whitbred
This study investigates the relative influence of two formal features of video games -- image quality and sound quality -- on presence and enjoyment. A 2 x 2 between subjects experiment was conducted manipulating image quality (high definition vs. standard definition) and sound quality (Dolby 5.1 surround sound vs. Dolby stereo). Results indicated that, while image quality had no effect on outcomes, sound quality almost universally impacted outcomes of interest, including several dimensions of presence and enjoyment. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Keywords: high definition, surround sound, presence, video games, enjoyment
Social and Spatial Presence: An Application to Optimize Human-Computer Interaction BIBAKPDF 85-114
  Kar Horvath; Matthew Lombard
This study provides a framework for researchers who study human-computer interaction to develop and evaluate user-centric user-interfaces by applying existing theories about telepresence, human-computer research, and characteristics of technology to produce social and spatial experiences similar to the ones computer users experience in non-mediated experience. Female and male college age university students (N=189) participated in an experiment in which they used a software application with low and high values of a set of social cues (social pleasantries, an agent character) and spatial cues (three dimensional graphical representation of physical spaces) in a 2 x 2 between subjects design. Subjects experienced greater presence, satisfaction, enjoyment, comprehension, perceived ability, and likelihood to use and recommend the application when they use software with high social and spatial cues. The findings support a research framework that considers different forms of telepresence separately and in combination, the cues that evoke them and their impacts, in the design of computer user-interfaces.
Keywords: telepresence, spatial presence, social presence, user interface, cues, human computer interaction, usability, user interface design
When Richer is Poorer: Understanding the Influence of Channel Richness and Presence on the Introduction of a Mission Statement BIBAKPDF 115-139
  Robert Whitebred; Paul Skalski; Cheryl Bracken; Evan Lieberman
Developing and implementing mission statements continues to be a widely used managerial strategy. This study tests a model incorporating the immersion and transportation dimensions of presence and media richness for evaluating the effectiveness of two commonly used strategies (paper versus video) for introducing a mission statement to members of an organization. Outcomes include participants' recall of the statement, involvement with the statement, and perceived importance of the statement. Results suggest: (a) channel richness does not directly impact the three outcomes, (b) the richer video channel resulted in less presence, and (c) greater presence positively impacted all three outcomes. The implications of these results are discussed for both future presence research and organizational practitioners.
Keywords: presence, immersion, transportation, media richness, mission statement