The effects of virtual reality immersion on level of subject interest: Comparing desktop and head-mounted display conditions

Open Access
Kutz, Nathan F
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Rick R Jacobs, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Richard Alan Carlson, Honors Advisor
  • Virtual Reality
  • immersion
  • Head-Mounted Display
Over the past year, the popularity of Virtual Reality (VR) has exploded. The VR industry netted over 7 billion dollars in 2013, which was a 4 billion dollar increase from 2012 (Plunkett, 2014). Google and Facebook each invested over 2 billion in Virtual reality in 2013 (Gelles, 2014). New Head-Mounted Display (HMD) systems, which provide realistic VR experiences, are lightweight, portable, and user-friendly, dropping in cost the past few years (Cakmakci, 2006; Rolland, 2000). Multiple studies have concluded specific benefits of HMD VR technology including perceptions of realism, involvement of participants, and learning outcomes (Abulrub , 2013; Bayarri, 1996; Fast, 2004; Li, 2005; Santos, 2009; Sielhorst, 2004;Stone, 2013). The current study investigated the effects of HMD systems on participant’s interest. Change in participant interest and immersion were measured in the current study. Analyses revealed that immersion through VR did not did not change interest level significantly (mean=5.15, SD= 1.084, p=.73). However, the results showed that HMD systems were significantly more immersive than a desktop condition (mean=3.83, SD= 1.46, p=.04).