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Intimacy is Induced and Regulated Through Proxemic & Gaze Behaviour - A Study in Immersive Virtual Reality

Kolkmeier, Jan (2015) Intimacy is Induced and Regulated Through Proxemic & Gaze Behaviour - A Study in Immersive Virtual Reality.

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Abstract:The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between gaze and proxemic behaviours during social interaction. Knowledge of this relationship could prove be beneficial for future design of artificial agents to better understand and employ these behaviours during social interaction, making the agents more believable and potent social actors. Existing theories on this relationship suggest that these behaviours subconsciously induce and compensate perceived intimacy in interaction partners. While the general validity of this claim has been shown, little work since has attempted to disentangle the single and joint effects of these behaviours more. In this work, we employ immersive virtual reality technology to simulate a meaningful social encounter, where virtual agents interact with participants in a dynamic fashion. Gaze and proxemic behaviours are manipulated dynamically, while participants gaze and proxemic responses are measured on-line. Participant showed strongest gaze and proxemic responses when agents manipulated both proxemic and gaze manipulations at the same time. More intimate manipulations such as standing closer and seeking more mutual gaze elicited gaze aversion and increase of personal distance from the participants. Less intimate manipulations such as increasing distance and averting gaze elicited more mutual gaze and reduction of personal distance from the participants. Agents that only manipulated gaze elicited weaker responses compared to agents that only manipulated proxemics.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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