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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access October 9, 2021

Individual Differences in Perceptions of Social Presence: Exploring the Role of Personality in Online Distance Learning

  • Joshua Weidlich EMAIL logo , Karel Kreijns and Theo J. Bastiaens
From the journal Open Education Studies


Social presence is a central concept relating to interpersonal aspects in online distance learning. However, the conditions and determinants of its emergence are not yet fully understood. As a construct rooted in social psychology, the potential of individual differences predicting perceptions of social presence has been largely neglected, thus, constituting a gap in our understanding. In a sample of 201 online distance education students, the merits of a trait-level view of social presence were investigated. To this end, personality was assessed using the Big Five personality inventory, exploring both a dimensional and a typological approach. Results suggest that specific personality typologies may be more prone to perceptions of social presence, thus calling for an extension of our theoretical modeling of the construct.


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Received: 2021-05-21
Accepted: 2021-06-30
Published Online: 2021-10-09

© 2021 Joshua Weidlich et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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