Celso De Melo: “The Effect of Virtual Agents’ Emotion Displays and Appraisals on People’s Decision Making in Negotiation”

September 12, 2012 | Santa Cruz, CA

Speaker: Celso De Melo
Host: 12th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents

Abstract: There is growing evidence that emotion displays can impact people’s decision making in negotiation. However, despite increasing interest in AI and HCI on negotiation as a means to resolve differences between humans and agents, emotion has been largely ignored. We explore how emotion displays in virtual agents impact people’s decision making in human-agent negotiation. This paper presents an experiment (N=204) that studies the effects of virtual agents’ displays of joy, sadness, anger and guilt on people’s decision to coun- teroffer, accept or drop out from the negotiation, as well as on people’s expecta- tions about the agents’ decisions. The paper also presents evidence for a mecha- nism underlying such effects based on appraisal theories of emotion whereby people retrieve, from emotion displays, information about how the agent is ap- praising the ongoing interaction and, from this information, infer about the agent’s intentions and reach decisions themselves. We discuss implications for the design of intelligent virtual agents that can negotiate effectively.