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Defining Immersion: Literature Review and Implications for Research on Audiovisual Experiences

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The use of the term immersion to describe a multitude of varying experiences in the absence of a definitional consensus has obfuscated and diluted the term. The non-exhaustive literature review presented in this paper indicates that immersion is a psychological concept as opposed to being a property of the system or technology that facilitates an experience. An adaptable definition of immersion is synthesized based on the findings from the literature review: a state of deep mental in- volvement in which the individual may experience disassociation from the awareness of the physical world due to a shift in their attentional state. This definition is used to contrast and differentiate interchangeably used terms such as presence from immersion and outline the implications for conducting immersion research on audiovisual experiences. A new methodology for quantifying immersion is proposed and avenues for future work are briefly discussed.

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JAES Volume 68 Issue 6 pp. 404-417; June 2020
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