Avatars like us
October 6th, 2005

TRN Research News reports “social science researchers have known for decades that we view people who mimic our body language more favorably than those who don’t. It turns out that this effect holds true for our interactions with artificial people as well. Stanford University researchers tested subjects who interacted with an artificial man or woman in an immersive virtual reality computer simulation. The agents either mimicked the subtle head movements of the test subject after a four second delay or displayed head movements recorded from a previous session with another subject.The subjects rated the artificial agents that mimicked their own head movements as more persuasive and likable than the agents that did not. Subjects were also more likely to keep agents who mimic their head moments in view. (Eight out of 69 participants were judged to have consciously detected the mimicry, and their results were discounted.) The work could be used to improve characters and avatars in video games and online environments”.

We like people like us — even fakes


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