Events

Ning Wang Talks at the 28th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

April 13, 2010 | Atlanta, GA

Speaker: Ning Wang, Research Associate
Host: 28th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Communication is more effective and persuasive when participants establish rapport. Tickle-Degnen and Rosenthal argue rapport arises when participants exhibit mutual attentiveness, positivity and coordination. In this paper, we investigate how these factors relate to perceptions of rap-port when users interact via avatars in virtual worlds. In this study, participants told a story to what they believed was the avatar of another participant. In fact, the avatar was a computer program that systematically manipulated levels of attentiveness, positivity and coordination. In contrast to Tickel-Degnen and Rosenthal’s findings, high-levels of mutual attentiveness alone can dramatically lower percep-tions of rapport in avatar communication. Indeed, an agent that attempted to maximize mutual attention performed as poorly as an agent that was designed to convey boredom. Adding positivity and coordination to mutual attentiveness, on the other hand, greatly improved rapport. This work unveils the dependencies between components of rapport and informs the design of agents