The state of consciousness referred to as a sense of presence has received significant attention in research on teleoperator and virtual reality systems. There has apparently been, however, little theoretical development or empirical research associated with the experience of presence. In that regard, it is useful to look at another very different context in which it has received attention. This paper reports on a study recently conducted on the experience of presence in international and intercultural encounters that may have theoretical significance beyond this limited context. Overall, the results indicated that the experiences of “realness, vividness, and feeling very much alive,” “attending to the immediate situation,“ “a perception of thinking and acting in new and innovative ways,” and ”a broad awareness of everything around” clustered together as a single factor and that a sense of presence in this context is a state of consciousness with at least these characteristics. There was also evidence that the experience of the state is related to the perception of quickness in the passage of time, the recall of details of encounters, their enjoyment, and the motivation to repeat them.

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