Virtual reality technology is used nowadays in various areas of science, and psychology, in particular. Successful work with virtual reality systems requires that a sense of presence emerges in the user, i.e. the subjective experience of the reality of being located in the artificially created environment and interacting with it. The lack of this experience or its insufficiency result in the interaction possibilities a virtual environment being unexploited. As a psychological phenomenon the sense of presence is caused by various psychological factors besides technological factors. In this paper, the reference literature review shows that the sense of presence is conditioned by demographic, cognitive, personality, and motivational variables. In particular, the sense of presence is dependent on differences in cognitive abilities and personal features, although in the last case the evidence is contradictory. The paper highlights a special role of cognitive control, i.e. metacognitive processes that are responsible for adjusting cognition to the context of the current task, thus emerging the sense of presence. The usage of expertise of psychological factors of the sense of presence in the development of virtual environments allowing effective user interaction is considered. The usage of psychological factors of the sense of presence as criteria for selecting users to operate in virtual environments is discussed. The directed research of various psychological factors that affect the sense of presence will not only support the development of general psychological theory of the sense of presence but also will allow to create effective solutions for fundamental and applied problems using virtual reality technology.
Keywords: virtual reality;
sense of presence;