Gaze Behavior as an Objective Measure to Assess Social Presence During Immersive Mediated Communication

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Ivo StuldreherLinsey RoijendijkMaarten MichelAlexander Toet

Abstract: Immersive communication systems provide increasingly realistic virtual environments, which may afford immersive social interactions that approach the quality of face-to-face (F2F) meetings by eliciting a sense of social presence; the feeling of being physically together with another person and having an affective and intellectual connection. To optimize a system’s ability to convey social presence, there is a need for tools that efficiently and reliably measure the degree to which users experience social presence. Currently, the most widely used tools to measure (social) presence are questionnaires. As their ecological validity is questionable, there is a need for objective and non-intrusive measures to measure social presence during naturalistic social interactions. In our study, we aimed to identify a set of determinants of social presence that enable the assessment of a system’s ability to convey social presence, preferably using easy to use, off-the-shelf tools. Considering eye gaze behavior is modulated by social presence and can be measured with relative ease for both F2F and mediated communication, we propose to use three eye gaze measures as an accessible means to assess the level of social presence a system can elicit.

Keywords: social presence, gaze tracking, naturalistic interaction

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002746

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