The relationship between presence and cognitive factors such as absorption, creative imagination, empathy, and will ingness to experience presence was investigated. Presence was defined, operationalized, and measured using a ques tionnaire that we devised. Absorption and creative imagina tion were measured using questionnaires developed in the area of hypnosis, and empathy was assessed through an interpersonal reactivity index. Results indicated significant correlations between presence and each cognitive factor. They showed that persons who are highly fantasy prone, more empathic, more absorbed, more creative, or more willing to be transported to the virtual world experienced a greater sense of presence. Regression analysis led to a pres ence equation, which could be used to predict presence based on the investigated cognitive factors. Findings are congruent with user characteristics presented by the pres ence literature and support the position that individual dif ferences are important for the study of presence.

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