Effects of Virtual Agent Gender on User Performance and Preference in a VR Training Program

  • Xiumin Shang
  • Marcelo Kallmann
  • Ahmed Sabbir ArifEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS, volume 69)


This paper presents findings of a small-scale exploratory study that investigated effects of virtual agent gender on user performance and preference in a virtual reality (VR) training program. During the study, twelve participants, predominantly young male adults (10 males, average age 24 years), took part in a customized Box and Blocks Test (BBT), where virtual female and male agents instructed them to quickly move specific color cubes from one side of the table to the other side of the table. Although, on average, the male-dominated sample performed better with the male agent than the female agent, with respect to task completion time, error rate, and error correction time, no significant difference was identified. There was also no significant effect of agent gender on preference, perceived helpfulness, and perceived professionalism. However, interestingly, significantly more participants found the female agent more attractive than the male agent, presumably due to the male-dominated sample.


Gender Virtual agent Avatar Training system Virtual character Box and Block Virtual reality (VR) Head-Mounted Display (HMD) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiumin Shang
    • 1
  • Marcelo Kallmann
    • 1
  • Ahmed Sabbir Arif
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Computer Graphics LabUniversity of California, MercedMercedUSA
  2. 2.Human-Computer Interaction GroupUniversity of California, MercedMercedUSA

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