Embodied social presence theory

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Embodied social presence theory



Alternate name(s)

Embodied Social Presence Theory ESP Theory

Main dependent construct(s)/factor(s)

Flow, Perceptions of Embodiment, Perceptions of ESP, Task Focus

Main independent construct(s)/factor(s)

Virtual Embodiment, Technological Readiness, Psychological Readiness, Embodied Presence, Embodied Co-presence

Concise description of theory

ESP Theory posits that the body is the nexus of communication, and that an embodied representation affects the perceptions of users by drawing them into a higher level of cognitive engagement in their shared activities and communication acts. During this process users engage in a loop of shifting attentional focus on the virtual and real self, on the other social actor’s virtual and real self, and on the context of interactions.

Diagram/schematic of theory

Originating author(s)

Brian Mennecke, Janea Triplett, Lesya Hassall, Zayira Jordan, Rex Heer

Seminal articles

Mennecke, B.E., Triplett, J., Hassall, L.M., Jordan, Z., and Heer, R., (forthcoming). An Examination of User Embodiment and Activity-based Social Interaction in Virtual Worlds: Implications for the Development of a Theory of Embodied Social Presence. Decision Sciences, Vol. 42, Num. 2.

Mennecke, B.E., Triplett; J. L., Hassall, L., & Jordan-Conde, Z. Embodied Social Presence Theory. 43rd Hawaiian International Conference on System Sciences, Jan. 2010, Koloa, HI.

Originating area

Communication Studies
Human Computer Interaction
Management Information Systems

Level of analysis


IS articles that use the theory

Links from this theory to other theories

Media synchronicity theory

External links


Original Contributor(s)

Brian Mennecke, Janea Triplett, Lesya Hassall, Zayira Jordan, Rex Heer

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