The Effects of Social and Spatial Presence on Engagement in a 3D Virtual Reality Environment: An Empirical Investigation

AbstractVirtual reality (VR) provides opportunities for businesses to innovatively engage customers. Based on presence theory, a research model was developed to test the influence of two major components of presence, social presence and spatial presence, on users’ perceptions of hedonic value, utilitarian value, and engagement. An experiment was conducted on two conditions of a VR application (low vs. high social presence) to test the hypotheses in the research model. The results reveal that social presence and spatial presence can improve hedonic value of VR. However, inconsistent with previous studies, our findings reveal a negative relationship between spatial presence and engagement. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as future research directions are subsequently discussed.


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