Events

Sin-hwa Kang, Jonathan Gratch, Ning Wang, James H. Watt: “Does Contingency of Agents’ Nonverbal Feedback Affect Users’ Social Anxiety?”

May 12, 2008 | Estoril, Portugal

Speaker: Sin-hwa Kang, Jonathan Gratch, Ning Wang, James H. Watt:
Host: International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS)

We explored the association between users’ social anxiety and the interactional fidelity of an agent (also referred to as a virtual human), specifically addressing whether the contingency of agents’ nonverbal feedback affects the relationship between users’ social anxiety and their feelings of rapport, performance, or judgment on interaction partners. This subject was examined across four experimental conditions where participants interacted with three different types of agents and a real human. The three types of agents included the Non-Contingent Agent, the Responsive Agent (opposite to the Non-Contingent Agent), and the Mediated Agent (controlled by a real human). The results indicated that people having greater social anxiety would feel less rapport and show worse performance while feeling more embarrassment if they experience the untimely feedback of the Non-Contingent Agent. The results also showed people having more anxiety would trust real humans less as their interaction partners. We discuss the implication of this relationship between social anxiety in a human subject and the interactional fidelity of an agent on the design of virtual characters for social skills training and therapy.