The Effect of Gait Parameters on the Perception of Animated Agents’ Personality
The esthetics and personality of animated agents play an important role in enhancing the experience of human-computer interactions. In the context of online learning and instruction, research shows that the personality of pedagogical agents can have a significant impact on students’ learning. The study reported in the paper focused on the expression of agents’ personality through non-verbal cues. In particular, it investigated whether certain gait parameters affect how the audience perceives the personality of a stylized animated pedagogical agent walking in a virtual classroom. While evidence exists that the way a character walks can affect the viewer’s perception of his/her personality, it is not clear yet which specific gait attributes contribute the most to identifying the personality of the character. In this study, six different parameters of gait were examined to see how slight changes in their values could help the audience perceive the agent as an extrovert. The study included 18 video stimuli and data was collected from 79 participants. Findings confirmed the effect gait can have on the perception of personality. They further suggest that stride length, beat of the walk (e.g. walking speed) beltline tilt, and upper body twist contribute the most towards this end.
KeywordsAnimated pedagogical agents Character animation Gait Personality Five-factor model
This work is supported in part by NSF award #1217215, and by Purdue Provost Instructional Innovation Grant 2017–2018. The authors would like to thank Purdue Statistical Consulting for their help with the statistical analysis of the data.
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