The Effect of the Agency and Anthropomorphism on users' Sense of Telepresence, Copresence, and Social Presence in Virtual Environments

Kristine L. Nowak, Frank Biocca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

427 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on an experiment that examined the influence of anthropomorphism and perceived agency on presence, copresence, and social presence in a virtual environment. The experiment varied the level of anthropomorphism of the image of interactants: high anthropomorphism, low anthropomorphism, or no image. Perceived agency was manipulated by telling the participants that the image was either an avatar controlled by a human, or an agent controlled by a computer. The results support the prediction that people respond socially to both human and computer-controlled entities, and that the existence of a virtual image increases tele-presence. Participants interacting with the less-anthropomorphic image reported more copresence and social presence than those interacting with partners represented by either no image at all or by a highly anthropomorphic image of the other, indicating that the more anthropomorphic images set up higher expectations that lead to reduced presence when these expectations were not met.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-494
Number of pages14
JournalPresence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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