Experiencing an art education program through immersive virtual reality or iPad: Examining the mediating effects of sense of presence and extraneous cognitive load on enjoyment, attention, and retention

Frontiers in Psychology 13 (2022)
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Abstract

Sense of presence and extraneous cognitive load are the two psychological effects widely employed to explain the cognitive outcomes caused by high-immersive media. This study identified the concepts of both technological affordance and the psychological effects of VR learning. It investigated the mechanism by which immersion leads to better or worse communication in the context of art education. We operationalized the concept of immersion into two levels: a high-immersive VR system and a low-immersive tablet system. Through a between-subject experiment, we found that higher immersion not only led to a greater sense of presence but also lowered extraneous cognitive load. Enjoyment and attention increased as a sense of presence rose but were not necessarily predicted by extraneous cognitive load. This study found that sense of presence was a more robust explanatory variable than ECL and that cognitive load could be lower in a high-immersive environment with content specifically designed for VR.

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H. C. B. Liu
University of California, Berkeley

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