Date of Defense

4-22-2016

Date of Graduation

4-2016

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Autumn Edwards

Second Advisor

Chad Edwards

Third Advisor

Jennifer Machiorlatti

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) is the next frontier of news media, but we know little about the impact is has on viewers. The goal of this experiment is to gain a better understanding of the social presence and information retained by watching news in VR. Participants will either consumer news in a VR setting, a highly interactive online format, or print. Then, using a survey, social presence and information retention were assessed. Research participants were undergraduate students at a large Midwestern university. It is expected that VR news will result in higher social presence and information retention than news in highly interactive online or print formats. Results indicated that measures of social presence were not reliable, and that VR resulted in significantly higher credibility than the print format.

H₁: News in virtual reality will result in higher social presence than highly interactive online news or print formats.

H₂: News in virtual reality will result in higher credibility than highly interactive online news or print formats.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access