Exploring multi-dimensional conceptualization of social presence in the context of online communities
The recent development has suggested a multi-dimensional approach in understanding social presence. Based on environmental psychology literature and prior research on social presence, we propose three dimensions of social presence, i.e., sensory, affective and cognitive, and examine its effect on virtual community participation with a partial mediation of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The research model was empirically tested with a survey involving 430 individuals. The empirical results provided strong support for the multi-dimensional conceptualization of social presence and clarified the effects of various social presence dimensions on participation. But we did not find significant mediating effects of motivational factors. Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.