نگاهی دیگری به تجارب "در آنجا بودن" در رسانه های دیجیتال: بررسی ارتباطات حضور از راه دور با تصویرسازی ذهنی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29666||2014||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10635 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 30, January 2014, Pages 508–518
Substantial multidisciplinary research has established foundational support for the consumer behaviour phenomenon that underlies the experience of telepresence within online social networks and other digital media products that provide hedonistic value. A review of major perspectives in this field provides justification of the important role mental imagery processes play in the phenomenon of telepresence. In line with this, we propose to extend existing approaches to mental imagery to reach the context of user experiences in digital media, and to theoretically connect telepresence with mental imagery. On this basis, and in conjunction with investigations bringing to light processes that intervene in the terrain of mental imagery, we present an integrative conceptual framework concerned with telepresence, and discuss the role of telepresence within a user’s hedonistic usage of digital media products.
Imagine someone, mid-forties, who accepts an invitation through an online social network to reunite with their class from secondary school. After years without any news from most of their former classmates, they join the online group, surf the content and chat. When they access the network, they feel that they are present in a shared and virtual space, where they meet their classmates again and have the opportunity to enjoy a conversation. The content triggers reminiscences about their school days and other associated memories from that time. While they surf and interact, they think about what their classmates have become, and they fantasise online about a face-to-face school reunion. The online experience turns out to be so enjoyable that they lose interest in their immediate physical environment. Nothing but events related to the online social network seem to matter. As the vignette above suggests, an attractive element of the use of online social networks banks on the user ‘being there’, in the heart of the virtual space afforded by the technology. This sensation, equally termed telepresence and spatial presence (Schubert, 2009), manifests as seeing things and ‘living’ events presented through the digital technology as if they were actually happening right there and then on terra firma (Lombard and Ditton, 1997 and Steuer, 1992). Feelings of ‘being there’ accompany the elaboration of thought, via recreated memories, anticipatory construction or by using the imagination (Kim & Biocca, 1997), which intensifies the enjoyment of using the technology (Klimmt and Vorderer, 2003, Skalski et al., 2011 and Tamborini and Skalski, 2009). This capacity of telepresence to provide enjoyment makes it a central facet of hedonistic and entertaining consumption experiences, through which users take pleasure in imaginative constructions of reality (Hirschman & Holbrook, 1982). In recent years consumers have adopted online social networks, and many other interactive media products based on computer technologies (including websites, e-books, videogames, and virtual worlds) attracted, precisely, by the on-demand access to digital representations, where they can situate themselves, and the creative co-creation being provided (Manovich, 2001). Often known as digital media, these interactive products have increasingly gained legitimacy. They have done so among businesses willing to offer the type of hedonistic services and ubiquitous entertainment that many consumers now demand (Deloitte, 2010). Due to the possible impact of feelings of ‘being there’ on the formation of optimal online-experiences for consumers and their willingness to re-use the digital media (Jung, 2011), a thorough understanding of telepresence is crucial to the design and marketing of digital media products. Not surprisingly, the consumer’s sense of telepresence in digital media has garnered attention from a range of disciplines including computer sciences, behavioural sciences, and communication sciences. Until now, many useful and valuable insights have been offered about the antecedents of telepresence in virtual environments (for a review, see for example Lee, 2004b), its variety of forms (e.g. Keng and Lin, 2006, Lombard and Ditton, 1997 and Shen and Khalifa, 2008), as well as its consequences in the formation of enjoyment feelings and the state of flow (e.g. Nah et al., 2011 and Novak et al., 2000). Yet attempts to establish the domain and nature of telepresence have been scarce (see Lee, 2004a), and the connections between telepresence and important constructs in consumer behaviour and media psychology – such as cognitive elaboration, narrative transportation or mental imagery – remain unclear (Wirth et al., 2007). For instance, Schubert, Friedmann, and Regenbrecht (2001) delimitated telepresence and distinguished it from other explanatory constructs on the basis of a factor-analytic study. However, they failed to elaborate this distinction starting from a theoretical framework, which explains what telepresence is and how it is formed. For their part, attempts to theoretically conceptualise telepresence (e.g. Minsky, 1980 and Steuer, 1992) have been majorly oriented by technological approaches, so they did not consider other constructs related to cognitive and mental imagery processes nor the possible areas where they overlap with telepresence. Importantly, there is scant knowledge about the possible demarcation lines and bonds between telepresence and mental imagery’s subjective processes. We do know that media provides the pertinent external stimuli that lead users to vividly see things in their minds’ eye (Finke, 1989). By using these internal processes, users reconstruct actual perceptions or generate brand new ideas, feelings, objects or events that resemble the experience of actually perceiving (see Roeckelein, 2004). Like the online consumer in the opening vignette, individuals energised by digital media content might take part in mental imagery processes that place them in other worlds. These other worlds are worlds that fire up memories, and anticipate or create (fiction) events. These can all come in the shape of multisensory images, flights of fancy, or fantasies that involve other users who are on the virtual network. Mental imagery is a central construct with strong potential to explain consumers’ hedonistic experiences (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982 and Holbrook and Hirschman, 1982), like countless experiences on the social web (and other digital media) in which users are there purely to enjoy themselves and have fun. However, most previous research in telepresence has not given attention to mental imagery processes and has ignored possible intersections between these two concepts (e.g. Minsky, 1980 and Paulos and Canny, 2001). Instead of recognizing the role of cognition and mental imagery on the formation of telepresence, they position telepresence in the terrain of perceptional and non-internal phenomena (for a discussion, see Section 2). Only a smattering of studies has looked into the links between telepresence and non-central elements of mental imagery processes. These include analyses about the influence of the individual’s ability to engage in mental imagery in their sense of telepresence (e.g. Keng and Lin, 2006, Sas and O’Hare, 2003, Thornson et al., 2009 and Weibel et al., 2011). Others (e.g. Kim & Biocca, 1997) have connected telepresence with the mental imagery elicited in pure imaginative and inner terrains, different from virtual environments. Rather than the person feeling present in a virtual environment, here the user creates a fictional story in their mind, then imagines and feels that they are present within it. Interestingly, investigation into the role of mental imagery in the specific context of consumption has been heavily focused on conventional environments and media (e.g. Bolls, 2007 and Mikhailitchenko et al., 2009). Besides, imagery research in consumption has mostly concentrated its studies on pre-purchase stages and analysed the persuasive impact of imagery-evoking communications (e.g. Burns et al., 1993, Oliver et al., 1993 and Unnava and Burnkrant, 1991). In addition, many of these studies, instead of directly examining mental imagery, have inferred the existence of imaginal processes from the effects of imagery-evoking marketing strategies on certain consumption-related outcomes, such as brand recall, attitude and purchase intention (see Babin, Burns, & Biswas, 1992). Now though, mental imagery is drumming up interest in consumer behaviour research to examine its effect on the purchase intention of individuals who vicariously daydream about consuming a marketed product (Denegri-Knott and Molesworth, 2010 and Molesworth, 2009). Few studies have delved into the impact of mental imagery on consumption experiences (e.g. Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982, Holbrook and Hirschman, 1982 and MacInnis and Price, 1987), and, as far as we can tell, only three have ever assessed mental imagery’s role in the actual usage of digital media products (Jenkins et al., 2010, Molesworth, 2009 and Simon, 2010). Moreover, in none of these cases has an explicit link been built between the imagery processes, elicited by the digital media, and the feelings of being present in the virtual (and sometimes purely fictional) domain afforded by the technology. This article seeks to connect the dots and merge those distinct lines of investigation currently being developed in telepresence and mental imagery. By doing so, we propose to extend current knowledge regarding the user’s experience of mental imagery within traditional media, and explore unchartered territory of their imaginal processes in digital media usage. This will offer a clearer understanding of the role that complex internal processes play in the phenomenon that is telepresence in digital media.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Two key elements are at the centre of a crucial and ongoing elusive issue of the study into hedonistic usage of digital media products. They are: the conceptual delimitation of the phenomenon of telepresence; understanding the mental mechanisms that accompany its formation. What is more, there is a missing link in literature between telepresence and the illusion mechanisms that trigger its formation. Indistinguishable from perception as these internal processes might be, they allow users to produce further details from digital media content, and also infer incoming external stimuli that users can incorporate into a virtual, alternative world where they feel they are based. Given how well suited the theoretical backgrounds are on imagery to investigate the phenomena under the umbrella of the non-factual, we suggest, for the first time in literature, to challenge these questions through the eyes of this particular theoretical framework. By acknowledging the illusion layer of telepresence, it seems futile to be curbed by the conceptually traditional feeling of ‘being present’ within the landscape of perception. In turn, the understanding of telepresence as a distinct mental imagery form offers imagery research an entire new set of mental imagery experiences to be studied. It also gives investigators the opportunity to delve into digital media usage’s fertile lands, where, in contrast to other mental imagery contexts, users often yearn for events that are anchored in a specific location and experienced in the first person. Under mental imagery’s theoretical umbrella, a continuum is proposed that ranges from forms of telepresence fully connected to autobiographical memories, current events, places and people, or the anticipation of likely experiences, to feelings that show up within representations – although perhaps vivid and real in their appearance – unrelated to actual experiences and completely novel to the consumer. We further propose to integrate the two main accounts for imagery processes by suggesting that cognitive elaboration comes into action in the formation of telepresence that mostly involves realistic thinking, whereas narrative transportation tends to take place in the context of novel or pure fantastical representations. In the first case, telepresence-evoking content is used along with consumer knowledge and beliefs to construct mental models in and around the virtual environment. In the second, consumers shift their attention to the fantastical virtual contexts and, distanced from their own cognitive structures, fully immerse themselves in the alternative virtual domain. As proposed, a deeper integration of mental imagery research and telepresence is urged to define the precise nature and extent of telepresence experiences and extend today’s mental imagery theories to the context of novel consumption. From a theoretical point of view, it is beneficial to gain a more complete comprehension of the complexity of underlying processes in digital media usage and the psychological changes they can produce. Furthermore, greater integration and a broad-based approach can provide a new perspective to companies and digital media managers to craft more vibrant and impactful marketing strategies that take into account the mode by which users elaborate digital content, augment the mental imagery element of hedonistic experiences with digital media, and incorporate imagery as a hedonistic value for digital media products. Content can lead consumers to evoke real events from the past and place themselves within them, visualise themselves in future scenarios related to previous experiences, or allow interaction with amazing characters. All three scenarios spark compelling and satisfactory telepresence experiences, although the intervening mechanisms might differ in each case. At any rate, mental imagery will has given a competitive advantage to businesses offering hedonistic value propositions through digital media products. The interesting thing is that the link of thought-imagery telepresence with cognitive elaboration, and imagination-imagery telepresence with narrative transportation, has not been articulated until now. Additionally, the conceptual framework suggested can help policy-making institutions to take the content further, and also weigh up the effects of imagery-evoking appeals on users.