Text-related immersion for varying auditory background scenes
Immersion can be described as the „sense of being there“ in a represented environment or situation. The phenomenon of immersion has, for example, been studied in the context of virtual reality, film, and literature. This interdisciplinary study aims at investigating text-related immersion in combination with varying auditory backgrounds. More specifically, the goal is to determine whether an auditory scene that matches a given textual scene (in terms of the location or situation that is described) increases the reader‘s perceived immersion compared to a situation in which auditory and textual scenes do not match. In a web-based experiment, we asked listeners to read short texts (~160 words) and answer a set of questions from the German version of the Story World Absorption Scale (SWAS), assessing the subjectively perceived immersion. The texts were presented in a 2x2 complete within-subject design with the variables textual context (urban, forest) and auditory scene (traffic noise, nature sounds). Participants would read the texts, while being exposed to either consistent or inconsistent sound scenes, played back via headphones. After each text, participants answered the SWAS questions. We present a preliminary evaluation of the participants‘ subjectively perceived text-related immersion as a function of matching vs. non-matching auditory scenes.