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The impact of agent facial mimicry on social behavior in a prisoner’s dilemma

Hoegen, Rens, Lucas, Gale, van der Schalk, Job and Gratch, Jonathan 2018. The impact of agent facial mimicry on social behavior in a prisoner’s dilemma. Presented at: IVA2018, Sydney, 5 - 8 November 2018. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents. Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 275-280. 10.1145/3267851.3267911

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A long tradition of research suggests a relationship between emotional mimicry and pro-social behavior, but the nature of this relationship is unclear. Does mimicry cause rapport and cooperation, or merely reflect it? Virtual humans can provide unique insights into these social processes by allowing unprecedented levels of experimental control. In a 2 x 2 factorial design, we examined the impact of facial mimicry and counter-mimicry in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. Participants played with an agent that copied their smiles and frowns or one that showed the opposite pattern – i.e., that frowned when they smiled. As people tend to smile more than frown, we independently manipulated the contingency of expressions to ensure any effects are due to mimicry alone, and not the overall positivity/negativity of the agent: i.e., participants saw either a reflection of their own expressions or saw the expressions shown to a previous participant. Results show that participants smiled significantly more when playing an agent that mimicked them. Results also show a complex association between smiling, feelings of rapport, and cooperation. We discuss the implications of these findings on virtual human systems and theories of cooperation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: A full text file not available from this repository, but can be accessed freely via the publisher at the related URL below.
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery
ISBN: 9781450360135/18/11
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 August 2018
Date of Acceptance: 22 July 2018
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 16:05

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