Does Perceived Effort Impact Users' Engagement in a Virtual Environment?

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


Psychology and Special Education

Date of Award

Fall 2014


This study investigated whether the perceived efforts in developing a virtual environment would impact user interaction experiences. In Experiment 1, participants were randomly assigned to the effort, thinking of effort, versus no effort information condition. After briefing on the development process, participants explored the virtual environment. Upon completing the tasks, participants reported their subjective experiences. The results showed that manipulation of effort impacted users' total exploration time, the number of landmarks visited in the environment, and the continued interest in visiting the park, but not on scores of the subjective reports. Experiment 2 investigated whether creating an environment by users themselves impacted their engagement. Participants in the Do It Yourself (DIY) condition created one landmark on their own, whereas participants in See It Yourself (SIY) condition were asked to perform the same tasks as the effort condition in Experiment 1. I hypothesized that participants in DIY condition would experience a greater degree of engagement compared with those in the SIY condition. The results showed that the physical efforts in building an environment led users to inspect the virtual environment in greater detail.



Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences