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Virtual Character Personality Influences Participant Attitudes and Behavior - An Interview with a Virtual Human Character about Her Social Anxiety

Pan, X; Gillies, M; Slater, M; (2015) Virtual Character Personality Influences Participant Attitudes and Behavior - An Interview with a Virtual Human Character about Her Social Anxiety. Frontiers in Robotics and AI , 2 10.3389/frobt.2015.00001. Green open access

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Abstract

We introduce a novel technique for the study of human–virtual character interaction in immersive virtual reality. The human participants verbally administered a standard questionnaire about social anxiety to a virtual female character, which responded to each question through speech and body movements. The purpose was to study the extent to which participants responded differently to characters that exhibited different personalities, even though the verbal content of their answers was always the same. A separate online study provided evidence that our intention to create two different personality types had been successful. In the main between-groups experiment that utilized a Cave system there were 24 male participants, where 12 interacted with a female virtual character portrayed to exhibit shyness and the remaining 12 with an identical but more confident virtual character. Our results indicate that although the content of the verbal responses of both virtual characters was the same, participants showed different subjective and behavioral responses to the two different personalities. In particular participants evaluated the shy character more positively, for example, expressing willingness to spend more time with her. Participants evaluated the confident character more negatively and waited for a significantly longer time to call her back after she had left the scene in order to answer a telephone call. The method whereby participants interviewed the virtual character allowed naturalistic conversation while avoiding the necessity of speech processing and generation, and natural language understanding. It is therefore a useful method for the study of the impact of virtual character personality on participant responses.

Type: Article
Title: Virtual Character Personality Influences Participant Attitudes and Behavior - An Interview with a Virtual Human Character about Her Social Anxiety
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/frobt.2015.00001
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/frobt.2015.00001
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Pan, Gillies and Slater. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469972
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