Effect of the Opponent’s Appearance on Interpersonal Cognition that Affects User-to-User Relationship in Virtual Whole-Body Interaction
Sho Sakurai, Takumi Goto, Takuya Nojima, and Koichi Hirota
The University of Electro-Communications
1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
People infer the internal characteristics (attitude, intent, thoughts, ability, relationship, etc.) of others (interpersonal cognition, IC) from the impressions they form from the personality or attributes of those others (impression formation). Studies premised on interpersonal communication in a seated condition have confirmed that, regardless of whether the communication is in the real world or in a media environment, the appearance of the other person affects IC and the outcome of the communication. People also develop relationships based on impressions or images of the other party. The psychological relationship manifests in physical relationships, that is, the relative positions of the body or the movement. In this study, we evaluate the effects of the appearance of the opponent’s avatar on the players’ IC in whole-body interaction taking place in a virtual reality (VR) space. Moreover, we examine the feasibility of constructing a method of changing the players’ relationship in interpersonal interactions that accompany the control and interference of the entire body, “whole-body interaction,” by manipulating their appearances. In this study, we selected the party game Twister as a case model of whole-body interaction and developed a system that allows users to play Twister in VR space. Using this system environment, we conducted an experiment to evaluate the players’ IC based on the gender and realism of the opponent’s avatar. The results showed that differences in the appearance of the opponent’s avatar affected the IC of male players. We also indicated that changes in IC observed in the experiment can affect the players’ relationship, thus identifying issues that must be resolved in order to realize the method.
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