Events

Jonathan Gratch, Ning Wang, Anna Okhmatovskaia, Francois Lamothe, Mattheiu Morales, Louis-Philippe Morency: “Can Virtual Humans Be More Engaging Than Real Ones?”

July 22, 2007 | Beijing, China

Speaker: Jonathan Gratch, Ning Wang, Anna Okhmatovskaia, Francois Lamothe, Mattheiu Morales, Louis-Philippe Morency
Host: 12th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction

Emotional bonds don’t arise from a simple exchange of facial displays, but often emerge through the dynamic give and take of face-to-face interactions. This article explores the phenomenon of rapport, a feeling of connectedness that seems to arise from rapid and contingent positive feedback between partners and is often associated with socio-emotional processes. Rapport has been argued to lead to communicative efficiency, better learning outcomes, improved acceptance of medical advice and successful negotiations. We provide experimental evidence that a simple virtual character that provides positive listening feedback can induce stronger rapport-like effects than face-to-face communication between human partners. Specifically, this interaction can be more engaging to storytellers than speaking to a human audience, as measured by the length and content of their stories.