University of Twente Student Theses


The Compliance of Virtual Social Interaction versus Real-life Social interaction

Weggelaar, S. (2022) The Compliance of Virtual Social Interaction versus Real-life Social interaction.

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Abstract:During covid times and developments in the 21st century online collaboration and negotiation are becoming increasingly more a necessity than a demand. With Virtual Reality (VR) becoming a more and more promising collaboration tool through upcoming technologies such as the Metaverse. The immersiveness of virtual reality makes for a more promising online collaborative environment in terms of face-to-face communication. Social touch for a user and Virtual Agent (VA) in a virtual environment could increase immersivity in this collaborative setting which in turn can provide better compliance to the collaboration itself. For this paper, the main research question is: Does technology-mediated social touch, by means of a virtual reality haptic device, have the same effect on compliance as human touch in virtual reality? With the purpose to find the abilities and shortcomings of virtual environments vs actual environments. Determining if the virtual environment will be able to take over the real-life applications for different sectors. For this, the research will take on a virtual environment in an office for negotiation of bar prices by the use of a Virtual Agent. In this environment, the users will be given either No/Virtual/Real handshake to find the influence of the haptics on the compliance in the negotiation. The users will be tested on the amount they negotiated and the survey afterward about trustworthiness, immersion, and personal preferences. From the results found in this research, we can suggest that virtual environments do provide a more immersed feeling with the use of handshakes through real-life and haptics, which in turn provided more compliance in the negotiation. By being more immersed in virtual environments the user tends to invest more energy and time into the negotiation process. From this we can suggest or conclude if the virtual environment is able to be used for realistic purposes. Though due to the limited amount of users tested this could be a fluke and should be further investigated. From this research it is suggested the virtual haptics provide a realistic immersed effect on the compliance of the user. The Virtual environment is a perfect place for online collaboration, while the technology of haptics might not be as immersive as real-life yet. The growth in this technological field is slowly getting there and will continue to become more and more realistic and affordable.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:05 communication studies, 70 social sciences in general
Programme:Business & IT BSc (56066)
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