Monday, May 17, 2010

The Gender-Specific Sway of Virtual Humans

"Much evidence has accumulated showing that nonverbal behavior can have a profound impact on human judgment in ways we are hardly aware of and this research extends that work to the digital realm. This work demonstrates that presentational factors influence people's decisions, including decisions of moral and ethical consequence, presumably without their realizing it," said study co-author Karl F. MacDorman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Program at the School of Informatics. He is also an adjunct associate professor with the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

In the study, a simulated female character presented participants with an ethical dilemma related to sexual conduct and marital infidelity. The character's human photorealism and motion quality were varied in four ways. The changes had no significant effect on female viewers, while male viewers were much more likely to rule against the character when her visual appearance was obviously computer generated and her movements were jerky.

Read the full article from e! Science News titled, Virtual Humans appear to influence ethical decisions in gender-specific ways.

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