Presence is one of the most studied and most important variables in immersive virtual reality (VR) and it influences the effectiveness of many VR applications. Separate bodies of research indicate that presence is determined by (1) technical factors such as the visual realism of a virtual environment (VE) and the field of view (FoV), and (2) human factors such as emotions and agency. However, it remains unknown how technical and human factors may interact in the presence formation process. We conducted a user study (n=360) to investigate the effects of visual realism (high/low), FoV (high/low), emotions (focusing on fear) and agency (yes/no) on presence. Counter to previous assumptions, technical factors did not affect presence directly but were moderated through human factors. We propose TAP-Fear, a structural equation model that describes how design decisions, technical factors and human factors combine and interact in the formation of presence.




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