Designing Pedagogical Agents to Evoke Emotional States in Online Tutoring Investigating the Influence of Animated Characters

  • Yugo HayashiEmail author
  • Daniel Moritz Marutschke
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9192)


The affective or emotional state of the learner is known to motivate learning, and this study specifically investigated the role of pedagogical agents with animated characteristics in an online tutoring task. Previous studies indicated that sensitivity to emotion typically varies depending on the gender of the learner and the gender of the teacher; therefore, we investigated how each type of emotion is influenced by the gender of the characters. We conducted three experiments with a total of 414 Japanese students. We found that both male and female learners felt more positive toward animated characters of the same gender, and the effects became stronger with childlike characteristics, such as big eyes. We conclude that deformed characters could be incorporated into designs of web-based tutoring systems for more effective teaching.


Web-based tutoring Embodied agents Affective learning Gender 



This work was supported in part by the 2012 KDDI Foundation Research Grant Program, and the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI), and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan (MEXTGrant), Grant No. 25870910.


  1. 1.
    Baylor, A.L., Kim, Y.: Simulating instructional roles through pedagogical agents. Int. J. Artif. Intell. Educ. 15(1), 95–115 (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baylor, A.L., Ryu, J.: The API (Agent Persona Instrument) for assessing pedagogical agent persona. In: Lassner, D., McNaught, C. (eds.) Procedings of the World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, pp. 448–451 (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Boucher, M.E., Hancock, T.J., Dunham, J.P.: Interpersonal sensitivity in computer-mediated and face-to-face conversations. Media psychol. 11(2), 235–258 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Date, T., Kadomaru, T. In: Matsushita, D., Bobby, D. (eds.) How to Draw Moe Characters, Eye & Body, Japan (2010) (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gulz, A., Haake, M.: Design of animated pedagogical agents: a look at their look. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 63(4), 322–339 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hayashi, Y., Huang, H.-H., Kryssanov, V.V., Urao, A., Miwa, K., Ogawa, H.: Source orientation in communication with a conversational agent. In: Vilhjálmsson, H.H., Kopp, S., Marsella, S., Thórisson, K.R. (eds.) IVA 2011. LNCS, vol. 6895, pp. 451–452. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hayashi, Y.: On pedagogical effects of learner-support agents in collaborative interaction. In: Cerri, S.A., Clancey, W.J., Papadourakis, G., Panourgia, K. (eds.) ITS 2012. LNCS, vol. 7315, pp. 22–32. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hayashi, Y.: Pedagogical conversational agents for supporting collaborative learning: effects of communication channels. In: Proeedings of the. CHI 2013 Works-in-Progress, pp. 655–660 (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hayashi, Y.: Learner-support agents for collaborative interaction: a study on affect and communication channels. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, pp. 232–239 (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heidig, S., Clarebout, G.: Do pedagogical agents make a difference to student motivation and learning? Educ. Res. Rev. 6(1), 27–54 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Holmes, J.: Designing agents to support learning by explaining. Comput. Educ. 48(4), 523–547 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kim, Y., Baylor, A.L., Shen, E.: Pedagogical agents as learning companions: the impact of agent emotion and gender. J. Comput. Assist. Learn. 23(3), 220–234 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Komatsu, T., Yamada, S.: How does the agents’ appearance affect users’ interpretation of the agents’ attitudes - Experimental investigation on expressing the same artificial sounds from agents with different appearances. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Interact. 27(3), 260–279 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kumar, R., Rose, C.: Architecture for building conversational agents that support collaborative learning. IEEE Trans. Learn. Technol. 4(1), 21–34 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lorenz, K.: Die Angeborenen formenmoglicher erfahrung innate forms of potential experiments. Zeitschrift fur Tier-psychology 5, 234–409 (1943)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Moreno, R., Mayer, E.: Role of guidance, reaction, and interactivity in an agent-based multi-media game. J. Educ. Psychol. 97(1), 117–128 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mori, M.: The uncanny valley (Mac Dorman, K.F., Kageki, N., trans.). IEEE Rob. Autom. Mag. 19(2), 98–100 (1970/2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nass, C., Moon, Y.: Machines and mindlessness: social responses to computers. J. Soc. Issues 56(1), 81–103 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nittono, H., Fukushima, M., Yano, H., Moriya, H.: The power of kawaii: viewing cute images promotes careful behavior and narrows attentional focus. PLoS ONE 7(9), 1–7 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rosenberg-Kima, B.R., Plant, A.E., Doerr, E.C., Baylor, A.: The influence of computer-based model’s race and gender on female students’ attitudes and beliefs towards engineering. Journal of Engineering Education 99(1), 35–44 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Russell, J.A.: A circumflex model of affect. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 39(6), 1161–1178 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sherman, G.D., Haidt, J., Coan, J.A.: Viewing cute images increases behavioral carefulness. Emotion 9(2), 282–286 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wang, N., Johnson, W.L., Mayer, R.E., Rizzo, P., Shaw, E., Collins, H.: The politeness effect: Pedagogical agents and learning outcomes. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 66(2), 98–112 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, College of LettersRitsumeikan UniversityKita-ku, KyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Information and Communication Science, College of Information Science and EngineeringRitsumeikan UniversityKusatsuJapan

Personalised recommendations