Ways to measure spatial presence: Review and future directions

Jari Laarni, Niklas Ravaja, Timo Saari, Saskia Böcking, Tilo Hartmann, Holger Schramm

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    The chapter focuses on the measurement of spatial presence. Our aim is review existing measures of spatial presence and provide evaluative classifications of the quality and appropriateness of these measurement methods. In addition to existing methods, we also shortly discuss the appropriateness of measures that have not been extensively used so far, such as "think aloud"-method, dual-task measures, eye-related measures and psychophysiological measures. We discuss the pros and cons of the different measures of spatial presence by using a range of indicators that are typically used to evaluate empirical methods. Both subjective and objective measures are evaluated in detail according to seven criteria, reliability, validity, sensitivity, applicability, diagnosticity, obtrusiveness and implementation requirements. A special emphasis is put on assessing whether a particular measurement method measures what it is aimed to measure (validity); to what degree it is able to discriminate different levels of effects (sensitivity); to what degree it provides information of the causes of differences (diagnosticity); and what its possible application domains are (applicability). Our central conclusion is that we need both objective and subjective indicators of spatial presence, and they should be combined in a single study in a way that makes sense for the specific research question. We also need more comprehensive and better-validated questionnaires that are theoretically derived and tap the multidimensional nature of the phenomenon. Also, objective indicators of spatial presence should be selected on the basis of the specific dimensions of presence being assessed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationImmersed in Media
    Subtitle of host publicationTelepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology
    EditorsMatthew Lombard, Frank Biocca, Jonathan Freeman, Wijnand IJsselsteijn, Rachel J. Schaevitz
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-10190-3
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-10189-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material


    • applicability
    • diagnosticity
    • implementation requirements
    • methods
    • obtrusiveness
    • reliability
    • sensitivity
    • special presence
    • validity


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