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A Systematic Review of Social Presence: Definition, Antecedents, and Implications

Frontiers in Robotics and AI. 2018;5 DOI 10.3389/frobt.2018.00114


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Journal Title: Frontiers in Robotics and AI

ISSN: 2296-9144 (Online)

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Mechanical engineering and machinery | Science: Mathematics: Instruments and machines: Electronic computers. Computer science

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML



Catherine S. Oh (Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Department of Communication, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States)

Jeremy N. Bailenson (Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Department of Communication, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States)

Gregory F. Welch (College of Nursing, Department of Computer Science, Institute for Simulation & Training (Synthetic Reality Lab), University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, United States)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Social presence, or the feeling of being there with a “real” person, is a crucial component of interactions that take place in virtual reality. This paper reviews the concept, antecedents, and implications of social presence, with a focus on the literature regarding the predictors of social presence. The article begins by exploring the concept of social presence, distinguishing it from two other dimensions of presence—telepresence and self-presence. After establishing the definition of social presence, the article offers a systematic review of 233 separate findings identified from 152 studies that investigate the factors (i.e., immersive qualities, contextual differences, and individual psychological traits) that predict social presence. Finally, the paper discusses the implications of heightened social presence and when it does and does not enhance one's experience in a virtual environment.