Measuring Spatial Presence: Introducing and Validating the Pictorial Presence SAM

Weibel, David; Schmutz, Jan; Pahud, Olivier; Wissmath, Bartholomäus (2015). Measuring Spatial Presence: Introducing and Validating the Pictorial Presence SAM. Presence, 24(1), pp. 44-61. MIT Press Journals 10.1162/PRES_a_00214

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The aim of the present study was to develop a pictorial presence scale using selfassessment- manikins (SAM). The instrument assesses presence sub-dimensions (selflocation and possible actions) as well as presence determinants (attention allocation, spatial situation model, higher cognitive involvement, and suspension of disbelief). To qualitatively validate the scale, think-aloud protocols and interviews (n = 12) were conducted. The results reveal that the SAM items are quickly filled out as well as easily, intuitively, and unambiguously understood. Furthermore, the instrument’s validity and sensitivity was quantitatively examined in a two-factorial design (n = 317). Factors were medium (written story, audio book, video, and computer game) and distraction (non-distraction vs. distraction). Factor analyses reveal that the SAM presence dimensions and determinants closely correspond to those of the MEC Spatial Presence Questionnaire, which was used as a comparison measure. The findings of the qualitative and quantitative validation procedures show that the Pictorial Presence SAM successfully assesses spatial presence. In contrast to the verbal questionnaire data (MEC), the significant distraction effect suggests that the new scale is even more sensitive. This points out that the scale can be a useful alternative to existing verbal presence selfreport measures.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Weibel, David, Schmutz, Jan, Pahud, Olivier, Wissmath, Bartholomäus


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




MIT Press Journals




David Weibel

Date Deposited:

02 May 2016 17:35

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:55

Publisher DOI:





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