I Didn’t Know That Virtual Agent Was Angry at Me: Investigating Effects of Gaze Direction on Emotion Recognition and Evaluation
Previous research has shown a link between gazing behavior and type of emotion felt. It appears that approach-oriented emotions are better perceived in combination with a direct gaze, whereas avoidance-oriented emotions are better perceived in combination with an averted gaze. In this study, we investigate whether this effect can be applied to persuasive social agents. We hypothesized that an approach-oriented emotion is more credible when combined with a direct gaze, whereas an avoidance-oriented emotion is more credible when combined with an averted gaze. This was tested with both an implicit categorization task and an explicit evaluation. The hypothesis was supported for angry expressions, but not for sad ones. Implications for further research and the design of effective persuasive agents are discussed.
KeywordsEmotional Expression Emotion Recognition Artificial Agent Implicit Association Test Social Agent
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