From a neurobiological and evolution- ary perspective, presence is essentially the strive for well- being and survival (Riva et al. 2004). To have presence means to have the ability to steer towards one’s own well- being and survival. Human beings steer away from pain, from hostility or from danger. Sensations, emotions and feelings are distinct in the performance of presence, and they indicate directions for well-being and survival. Steering towards one’s own well-being and survival is the ultimate basis of ethics (Damasio 2004). High trust is much more beneficial for personal lives and organizations than low trust (Fukuyama 1995; Kleiner 2002). Specific con- figurations of presence design support the strive for well- being and survival, while others do not.
Presence and survival
Natural presence and mediated presence are the result of trade-offs that individual human beings make. Making trade-offs is a collaborative learning process defined by an interaction between cultures and technologies available (IJsselsteijn 2004).