Date of Award

12-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Communication

Major Professor

Michelle T. Violanti

Committee Members

Lisa T. Fall, Virginia W. Kupritz, Jennifer A. Morrow

Abstract

This dissertation involved the creation and validation of a new measure of social presence. The first study involved the use of focus groups to create items for the future measure. The focus groups were presented with a set of items that were created based upon past literature; an through discussion of these items, a preliminary measure was created. The second study gathers data concerning the measure that was created from study one and an exploratory factor analysis was performed to eliminate items that did not work well with each other. This reduced the measure from 54 items to 23. The third study involved gathered data to perform a confirmatory factor analysis on the reduced measure from study two to 20 items. The confirmatory factor analysis, also provide construct validity for the measure. The end result of this dissertation is a valid and reliable measure of social presence that can be used to determine if a person has difficulty projecting him or herself as a real individual who is willing to interact with other online communicators.

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