Research

The Temple Presence Inventory (TPI) is a set of questionnaire items that can be used to measure dimensions of (tele)presence.

The TPI:

  • Contains items culled from a comprehensive literature review of presence theory and research
  • Has been developed and validated using traditional psychological measurement procedures
  • Is appropriate for use with most media and media content
  • Measures diverse presence dimensions including several types of social presence
  • Is free

Researchers can use the entire inventory, sets of items for specific dimensions, and/or individual items as deemed useful and appropriate for a specific study. Items can also be modified as needed. All that we ask is that you help refine the instrument by reporting on your experience using all or part of the TPI. Please direct reports of use and/or questions to Matthew Lombard at lombard@temple.edu.

The 42 TPI items followed by various supplementary materials regarding the background and validity and reliability testing of the TPI are below.

TPI - Spatial presence:

How much did it seem as if the objects and people you saw/heard had come to the place you were?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How much did it seem as if you could reach out and touch the objects or people you saw/heard?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How often when an object seemed to be headed toward you did you want to move to get out of its way?
(Never - Always [7 points])

To what extent did you experience a sense of being there inside the environment you saw/heard?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

To what extent did it seem that sounds came from specific different locations?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How often did you want to or try to touch something you saw/heard?
(Never - Always [7 points])

Did the experience seem more like looking at the events/people on a movie screen or more like looking at the events/people through a window?
(Like a movie screen - Like a window [7 points])

TPI - Social presence - Actor within medum (parasocial interaction):

How often did you have the sensation that people you saw/heard could also see/hear you?
(Never - Always [7 points])

To what extent did you feel you could interact with the person or people you saw/heard?
(None - Very much [7 points])

How much did it seem as if you and the people you saw/heard both left the places where you were and went to a new place?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How much did it seem as if you and the people you saw/heard were together in the same place?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How often did it feel as if someone you saw/heard in the environment was talking directly to you?
(Never - Always [7 points])

How often did you want to or did you make eye-contact with someone you saw/heard?
(Never - Always [7 points])

Seeing and hearing a person through a medium constitutes an interaction with him or her. How much control over the interaction with the person or people you saw/heard did you feel you had?
(None - Very much [7 points])

TPI - Social presence - Passive interpersonal:

During the media experience how well were you able to observe the facial expressions of the people you saw/heard?
(Not well - Very well [7 points])

During the media experience how well were you able to observe the changes in tone of voice of the people you saw/heard?
(Not well - Very well [7 points])

During the media experience how well were you able to observe the style of dress of the people you saw/heard?
(Not well - Very well [7 points])

During the media experience how well were you able to observe the body language of the people you saw/heard?
(Not well - Very well [7 points])

TPI - Social presence - Active interpersonal:

How often did you make a sound out loud (e.g. laugh or speak) in response to someone you saw/heard in the media environment?
(Never - Always [7 points])

How often did you smile in response to someone you saw/heard in the media environment?
(Never - Always [7 points])

How often did you want to or did you speak to a person you saw/heard in the media environment?
(Never - Always [7 points])

TPI - Engagement (mental immersion):

To what extent did you feel mentally immersed in the experience?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How involving was the experience?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How completely were your senses engaged?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

To what extent did you experience a sensation of reality?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How relaxing or exciting was the experience?
(Very relaxing - Very exciting [7 points])

How engaging was the story?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

TPI - Social richness:

Please circle the number that best describes your evaluation of the media experience:

Remote - Immediate (7 points)
Unemotional - Emotional (7 points)
Unresponsive - Responsive (7 points)
Dead - Lively (7 points)
Impersonal - Personal (7 points)
Insensitive - Sensitive (7 points)
Unsociable - Sociable (7 points)

TPI - Social realism:

The events I saw/heard would occur in the real world
(Strongly disagree - Strongly agree [7 points])

The events I saw/heard could occur in the real world
(Strongly disagree - Strongly agree [7 points])

The way in which the events I saw/heard occurred is a lot like the way they occur in the real world
(Strongly disagree - Strongly agree [7 points])

TPI - Perceptual realism:

Overall how much did touching the things and people in the environment you saw/heard feel like it would if you had experienced them directly?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

How much did the heat or coolness (temperature) of the environment you saw/heard feel like it would if you had experienced it directly?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

Overall, how much did the things and people in the environment you saw/heard smell like they would had you experienced them directly?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

Overall, how much did the things and people in the environment you saw/heard look they would if you had experience them directly
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

Overall, how much did the things and people in the environment you saw/heard sound like they would if you had experienced them directly?
(Not at all - Very much [7 points])

BACKGROUND AND DEVELOPMENT of the TPI

The term "telepresence" was first used by Marvin Minsky (1980) to refer to teleoperation technology that provides the user with a "remote presence" in a different location via feedback systems that allow her to "see and feel what is happening" there. The term was adapted and shortened when the journal Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments (MIT Press) was founded in 1991 to provide a forum for "current research and advanced ideas on teleoperators and virtual environments." In a review, Lombard and Ditton (1997) identified six different conceptualizations of presence found in a diverse set of literatures: presence as social richness (the "warmth" or "intimacy" possible via a medium), realism (perceptual and/or social), transportation (the sensations of "you are there," "it is here," and/or "we are together"), immersion (in a mediated environment), social actor within medium (e.g., parasocial interaction), and medium as social actor (e.g., treating computers as social entities). They incorporate all of these in a single conceptual definition of presence: "the perceptual illusion of nonmediation." The term "perceptual" indicates that this phenomenon involves continuous (real time) responses of the human sensory, cognitive, and affective processing systems to objects and entities in a person's environment. An "illusion of nonmediation" occurs when a person fails to perceive or acknowledge the existence of a medium in his/her communication environment and responds as he/she would if the medium were not there.

A growing number of scholars have defined and attempted to measure "presence." However, there is no standard technique or instrument for measuring presence responses. Based on the six conceptualizations of presence identified in previous research, and the measurement techniques and instrument items used in that research along with a number of new measurement items, a comprehensive set of questionnaire items was developed and tested in a variety of mediated contexts in order to develop a standardized measurement instrument for presence that can be utilized for presence research across types of presence and diverse media, stimuli, and subject populations.

Documents with more detailed information

Last updated: September 15, 2013