University of Oulu

Matti Pouke, Johanna Ylipulli, Elmeri Uotila, Anna-Kaisa Sitomaniemi, Sakaria Pouke, Timo Ojala; A Qualitative Case Study on Deconstructing Presence for Young Adults and Older Adults. PRESENCE: Virtual and Augmented Reality 2022; 31 257–281. doi:

A qualitative case study on deconstructing presence for young adults and older adults

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Author: Pouke, Matti1; Ylipulli, Johanna2; Uotila, Elmeri1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
2Aalto University
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: MIT Press, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-11-09


In this paper, we present the results of an exploratory qualitative case study on presence experienced by groups of young adults and older adults during their use of an interactive virtual reality application mixing realistic and fantasy elements. In contrast to most previous studies, we do not focus on a set of predetermined factors but instead adopt an open-ended qualitative approach to identify emerging factors from the users’ experiences. We then analyze these factors against the place illusion/plausibility illusion (PI/PSI) framework of Skarbez, Neyret, et al. (2017) to investigate whether PI and PSI, as well as their contributing factors, can be separated. According to our findings, a user can experience PI and PSI independently from each other; however, they often appeared intermixed when investigated on the scope of the whole experience. Breaks in presence, as well as breaks in plausibility, could mostly, but not entirely, be attributed to immersion and coherence factors, respectively. An interesting finding is that both participant groups turned out to have two subgroups interpreting their experience with a particular frame of reference of differing expectations. These frames of reference affected not only PSI, as expected, but PI as well, suggesting that coherence could be a contributing factor to both PI and PSI. Our contribution adds to the relatively small body of research investigating the separation of PI and PSI. Our exploratory findings can be utilized as directions for designing future confirmatory studies.

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Series: Presence
ISSN: 1054-7460
ISSN-E: 1531-3263
ISSN-L: 1054-7460
Volume: 31
Pages: 257 - 281
DOI: 10.1162/pres_a_00397
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
515 Psychology
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland projects PIXIE (331822), DISC (332143), the Academy of Finland SRC project COMBAT (293389), and the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland project “Our Shared Virtual World.”
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 331822
Detailed Information: 331822 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
332143 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
293389 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For a full description of the license, please visit