Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Human Factors Psychology

Committee Chair/Advisor

Muth, Eric

Committee Member

Tyrrell , Richard

Committee Member

Stephens , Benjamin

Committee Member

Hoover , Adam


Characteristics of head-mounted displays (HMDs) and their effects on simulator sickness (SS) and presence were investigated. Update delay and wide field of views (FOV) have often been thought to elicit SS. With the exception of Draper et al. (2001), previous research that has examined FOV has failed to consider image scale factor, or the ratio between physical FOV of the HMD display and the geometric field of view (GFOV) of the virtual environment (VE). The current study investigated update delay, image scale factor, and peripheral vision on SS and presence when viewing a real-world scene. Participants donned an HMD and performed active head movements to search for objects located throughout the laboratory. Seven out of the first 28 participants withdrew from the study due to extreme responses. These participants experienced faint-like symptoms, confusion, ataxia, nausea, and tunnel vision. Thereafter, the use of a hand-rail was implemented to provide participants something to grasp while performing the experimental task. The 2X2X2 ANOVA revealed a main effect of peripheral vision, F(1,72) = 6.90, p= .01, indicating peak Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) scores were significantly higher when peripheral vision was occluded than when peripheral vision was included. No main effects or interaction effects were revealed on Presence Questionnaire (PQ version 4.0) scores. However, a significant negative correlation of peak SSQ scores and PQ scores, r(77) = -.28, p= .013 was revealed. Participants also were placed into 'sick' and 'not-sick' groups based on a median split of SSQ scores. A chi-square analysis revealed that participants who were exposed to an additional update delay of ~200 ms were significantly more likely to be in the 'sick' group than those who were exposed to no additional update delay. To reduce the occurrence of SS, a degree of peripheral vision of the external world should be included and attempts to reduce update delay should continue. Furthermore, participants should be provided with something to grasp while in an HMD VE. Future studies should seek to investigate a critical amount of peripheral vision and update delay necessary to elicit SS.



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