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Abstract

Trust toward outgroup members is generally lower than it is toward ingroup members. Behavioral synchrony with virtual outgroup characters has been identified as a means of improving attitudes toward racial outgroup members, but this effect has not been tested for outgroup trust. We tested the effect of synchrony with an ingroup/outgroup virtual agent on a behavioral measure of outgroup trust. An experiment used an online economic game to obtain pretest and posttest measures of trust. In between these measures, participants played a dance video game on Xbox Kinect. They were randomly assigned to either an ingroup or outgroup agent (black or white) partner. Game score served as a continuous measure of synchrony with the agent. Regression analysis revealed that agent race moderated synchrony's effect on change in outgroup trust. Increased synchrony with an outgroup agent led to increased outgroup trust. Conversely, increased synchrony with an ingroup agent led to decreased outgroup trust. Findings are discussed with respect to implications for using virtual interactions to build outgroup trust in the real world.

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... Hence, designers should include characteristics that increase relatedness, feelings of being understood, attractiveness, empathy, and so forth that appear natural to users to avoid the feeling of eeriness. Interacting with embodied agents that do not reflect users' ethnicity is rated as less trustworthy compared to interacting with embodied agents that do (Tamborini et al., 2018). ...
... This is because humans usually prefer to digitally interact with a representation that is similar to them. The perception of similarity here is not limited to physical appearance or gender between users and digital representations, but also includes ethnicity and culture (Tamborini et al., 2018). Human realism and psychological similarity can increase the sense of presence, immersion, and involvement with the embodied agent. ...
... Further, while research has emphasised the importance of high similarity between the user and a digital representation, the majority of studies on similarity considered just the avatar's physical appearance (e.g., body size, clothing, hair) or gender. Only three studies have explicitly considered the user's ethnicity (Fehrenbacher & Weisner, 2017;Spence et al., 2013;Tamborini et al., 2018). Digital representations in these three studies were based on, and hence represented, the ethnicity of (1) African-American and Caucasian people (Spence et al., 2013;Tamborini et al., 2018), and (2) Asian and Caucasian people (Fehrenbacher & Weisner, 2017). ...
Article
Computerised graphical representations of human users and computer agents, known as avatars and embodied agents, have been extensively explored and investigated in Information Systems (IS) research and practice. Such digital representations can be employed in either 2D or 3D. In order to facilitate research on user and agent representations and their applications in IS, we conduct a systematic literature review and establish the current state of research on humans’ perceptions and behaviours when interacting with avatars and embodied agents. Our findings are based on an analysis of 90 articles published in top outlets in the IS field. This review identifies 1) different types of avatar and embodied agent-mediated interactions with users, 2) current application domains of such representations, 3) their dimensionality, 4) affected psychological constructs, and 5) practical considerations for the design of such digital representations. Finally, we discuss limitations of current research and, based on these, directions for future work.
... We suspect some middle ground between these accounts to be most parsimonious. Synchrony has been reported to impact a variety of attitudinal and behavioral measures, including perceived entativity (Lakens, 2010), likeability (Hove & Risen, 2009), conformity ( Wiltermuth, 2012), trust (Tamborini et al., 2018), inclusion of other in the self , prejudice reduction (Atherton et al., 2019), and cooperative ability ( Valdesolo et al., 2010). We hypothesize that the experience of synchrony likely impacts a smaller, more restricted range of social variables, with reported effects on some variables in the literature attributable to placebo and experimenter expectancy effects. ...
Article
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Many studies argue that synchronized movement increases prosocial attitudes and behavior. We reviewed meta-analytic evidence that reported effects of synchrony may be driven by experimenter expectancy, leading to experimenter bias; and participant expectancy, otherwise known as placebo effects. We found that a majority of published studies do not adequately control for experimenter bias and that multiple independent replication attempts with added controls have failed to find the original effects. In a preregistered experiment, we measured participant expectancy directly, asking whether participants have a priori expectations about synchrony and prosociality that match the findings in published literature. Expectations about the effects of synchrony on prosocial attitudes directly mirrored previous experimental findings (including both positive and null effects)—despite the participants not actually engaging in synchrony. On the basis of this evidence, we propose an alternative account of the reported bottom-up effects of synchrony on prosociality: the effects of synchrony on prosociality may be explicable as the result of top-down expectations invoked by placebo and experimenter effects.
... As such, it ranges from group dynamics to dyadic interactions, occurring in social settings such as collective sports (Zumeta et al., 2016), religious rituals (Perry et al., 2021), or aesthetic experiences (Vuoskoski and Reynolds, 2019) and is associated with pro-sociality and social bonding (for a review and meta-analysis, see Rennung and Göritz, 2016;Vicaria and Dickens, 2016). It can be induced experimentally through joint action and increase altruism and trust (Wiltermuth and Heath, 2009;Lang et al., 2017), but also reduce intergroup conflict in real or virtual settings (Hasler et al., 2014;Tamborini et al., 2018). According to Atherton et al. (2019), the mere imagination of walking in synchrony with an out-group member might be sufficient to decrease prejudice and stereotyping. ...
Article
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Interpersonal coordination is a research topic that has attracted considerable attention this last decade both due to a theoretical shift from intra-individual to inter-individual processes and due to the development of new methods for recording and analyzing movements in ecological settings. Encompassing spatiotemporal behavioral matching, interpersonal coordination is considered as “social glue” due to its capacity to foster social bonding. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect are still unclear and recent findings suggest a complex picture. Goal-oriented joint action and spontaneous coordination are often conflated, making it difficult to disentangle the role of joint commitment from unconscious mutual attunement. Consequently, the goals of the present article are twofold: (1) to illustrate the rapid expansion of interpersonal coordination as a research topic and (2) to conduct a systematic review of spontaneous interpersonal coordination, summarizing its latest developments and current challenges this last decade. By applying Rapid Automatic Keyword Extraction and Latent Dirichlet Allocation algorithms, keywords were extracted from PubMed and Scopus databases revealing the large diversity of research topics associated with spontaneous interpersonal coordination. Using the same databases and the keywords “behavioral matching,” “interactional synchrony,” and “interpersonal coordination,” 1,213 articles were identified, extracted, and screened following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses protocol. A total of 19 articles were selected using the following inclusion criteria: (1) dynamic and spontaneous interactions between two unacquainted individuals (2) kinematic analyses, and (3) non-clinical and non-expert adult populations. The results of this systematic review stress the proliferation of various definitions and experimental paradigms that study perceptual and/or social influences on the emergence of spontaneous interpersonal coordination. As methods and indices used to quantify interpersonal coordination differ from one study to another, it becomes difficult to establish a coherent picture. This review highlights the need to reconsider interpersonal coordination not as the pinnacle of social interactions but as a complex dynamical process that requires cautious interpretation. An interdisciplinary approach is necessary for building bridges across scattered research fields through opening a dialogue between different theoretical frameworks and consequently provides a more ecological and holistic understanding of human social cognition.
... Likewise, it has been shown that familiarity yields higher levels of social presence and trust for users compared to interacting with avatars that are unfamiliar to them (Komiak & Benbasat, 2006). In contrast, interacting with avatars that do not reflect the user's ethnicity is rated as less trustworthy compared to interacting with avatars that do (Tamborini et al., 2018). ...
Article
While avatars are frequently employed as a user interface (UI) element for improving user experience in human-computer interaction, the current design of avatars is primarily dominated by non-Arabian cultures. To the best of our knowledge, no previous research or guidelines (based on empirical evidence) can be found for avatar design in the context of Arabian culture. Aiming to address this gap, we conducted an exploratory study to investigate how avatars can be designed for Arab users. Following a hybrid approach of deductive and inductive reasoning, we reviewed the literature on UI design for Arabian culture, (non-Arabian) avatar design in human-computer interaction research, and social response theory. Subsequently, we conducted 32 semi-structured interviews with Arabian culture experts, psychologists, and potential users. Based on thematic analysis of the interviews, we developed a set of six general guidelines for the design of avatars for users from Arabian culture. These six guidelines are expected to provide system or UI designers the ability to design and employ appropriate avatars that can promote Arab users’ experience and engagement.
... Furthermore, the participants who danced in the virtual environment with a virtual out-group agent experienced increased continuous behavioral synchrony with an out-group member and greater trust toward the out-group member. Such research illustrates the efficacy of intergroup virtual interactions in building positive interpersonal outcomes between members of different social groups ( Tamborini et al., 2018). ...
Article
The radicalization of individuals and related commitment of acts of extreme violence, such as terrorism, have become one of the main societal concerns over the past years. Radicalization refers to a complex psychosocial process through which individuals adopt increasingly extreme convictions. The field of individuals’ deradicalization has attracted the interest of scholars and policymakers in recent years, and establishment of actual deradicalization programs has involved various components. The main aim of the current article is to propose an innovative methodological component for deradicalization programs based on immersive virtual reality (VR) technology. Accordingly, the development of the methodological implementation is primarily grounded in the emergent research field of intergroup conflict resolution and perspective-taking that employs VR technology-based experiments. Although, VR-based intervention does not provide a perfect answer to all of the challenges related to individuals’ deradicalization from extremism, it offers an interesting perspective to address certain relevant issues in the field.
... There are several interesting areas of future study that could follow from this work. One comes from a study from Tamborini et al. (2018) in which participants danced in a coordinated way with an avatar who was their same or different race. Results revealed an interaction between outgroup level trust and the race of the avatar: those who danced with a same race avatar were less trusting of the other race, and those who danced with a different race avatar were more trusting of that race. ...
Article
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People are prone to dividing others into the categories of ‘us’ and ‘them’. This can be particularly detrimental to minorities who may experience social exclusion, prejudice, and reduced access to equal opportunities. One method of improving intergroup relations is to create opportunities for contact. Common contact interventions have members of different groups meet and engage in conversation. There are also non-verbal embodied intergroup activities that produce the same effects. Previous work has shown that the pro-social effects of coordination may be linked to whether co-actors are classed as in or out-group members. The current study explored whether imagining walking in synchrony with in- or out-group members changed majority members’ attitudes towards those individuals. Imagining walking in synchrony fostered greater increases in empathy and decreases in negative attitudes only towards minority group members following imagined coordination (not in-groups). Implications and future directions are discussed.
... Synchrony can also strengthen in-group bonds to the detriment of intergroup relations, providing further evidence that the benefits are context dependent (Tamborini et al., 2018). ...
Preprint
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[CHAPTER] The reproduction of another individual’s emotions in the self – the embodiment of perceived emotions – has been demonstrated to constitute one mechanism for emotional information processing. That is, seeing someone’s emotion expressions and using one’s own face to make the same expression helps the perceiver represent the emotion of the other. When members of a dyad mimic each other’s emotion expressions and by consequence converge in their underlying physiology over time we say that the dyad has reached a state of affective synchrony. The present chapter brings together recent theorizing and research on physiological and expressive affective synchrony. We propose affective synchrony serves three interrelated functions: it enables efficient information exchange, allows for interpersonal emotion regulation, and builds social bonds. We review evidence for the contexts in which affective synchrony arises, propose and evaluate the benefits and costs of achieving these states, and end by suggesting paths for future research in this area.
... Even when an experiment does involve 3D motion, indirect proxy measures of synchrony are typically used. For instance, Tamborini et al. (2018) studied dyadic motion synchrony by means of an Xbox Kinect dance video game, but used game score as the measure of synchrony. 3. Aside from removing or ignoring the spatial complexity of 3D motion, existing methods tend to collapse, partly or entirely, along the temporal dimension. ...
Article
We propose a novel approach to the analysis of synchronized three-dimensional motion in dyads. Motion recorded at high time resolution, as with a gaming device, is preprocessed in each of the three spatial dimensions by spline smoothing. Synchrony is then defined, at each time point, as the cosine between the two individuals’ estimated velocity vectors. The approach is extended to allow a time lag, allowing for the analysis of leader-follower dynamics. Mean square cosine over the time range is proposed as a scalar summary of dyadic synchrony, and this measure is found to be positively associated with cognitive empathy.
... To investigate whether the positive effects of mirroring and similarity on outgroup trust are transferable to human-agentinteraction, (Tamborini et al., 2018) developed virtual agents of either Caucasian African-American background by altering their visual features, such as skin colour. Participants in the experiment were asked to play a dance game with a virtual agent and were told that they would be rated on their level of synchrony with the virtual agent and their dance skills. ...
Article
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Despite the fact that mixed-cultural backgrounds become of increasing importance in our daily life, the representation of multiple cultural backgrounds in one entity is still rare in socially interactive agents (SIAs). This paper’s contribution is twofold. First, it provides a survey of research on mixed-cultured SIAs. Second, it presents a study investigating how mixed-cultural speech (in this case, non-native accent) influences how a virtual robot is perceived in terms of personality, warmth, competence and credibility. Participants with English or German respectively as their first language watched a video of a virtual robot speaking in either standard English or German-accented English. It was expected that the German-accented speech would be rated more positively by native German participants as well as elicit the German stereotypes credibility and conscientiousness for both German and English participants. Contrary to the expectations, German participants rated the virtual robot lower in terms of competence and credibility when it spoke with a German accent, whereas English participants perceived the virtual robot with a German accent as more credible compared to the version without an accent. Both the native English and native German listeners classified the virtual robot with a German accent as significantly more neurotic than the virtual robot speaking standard English. This work shows that by solely implementing a non-native accent in a virtual robot, stereotypes are partly transferred. It also shows that the implementation of a non-native accent leads to differences in the perception of the virtual robot.
... Our findings are also in line with SRT and the CASA paradigm, from which it is known that images reflecting similar people and/or clothing increase engagement and, in turn, trigger positive social responses. Our study hence supports findings of previous research showing that avatars that reflect the ethnicity of the user yield higher trust [29,97,102] and usage intentions [67,98]. ...
Article
While previous research established that culture plays an important role in technology adoption, there is only limited work on the role of cultural appropriateness in user interface design for users from a specific background. In this study, we focus on the case of avatar design as a user interface element for facilitating positive user experience. Building on the theoretical lenses of social response theory and the “Computers Are Social Actors” paradigm, we develop a research model to investigate how cultural appropriateness of avatar design is a vital driver for users’ trust. We evaluate our research model by means of an online experiment (n=313) in the context of online health advice for users from Saudi Arabia. The avatars differed in appearance (Arab, non-Arab), gender (male, female), and clothing (athletic, medical, everyday). Our results show that Arab avatars exhibited significantly higher cultural appropriateness than non-Arab avatars. Further, participants were more inclined to select an Arab avatar (88.2%) that matched their gender (77.3%). Confirming the critical role of cultural appropriateness, our study demonstrates the importance of carefully considering the target audience in designing user interfaces.
... In the cultural perspective, movement synchrony is thus a way of enhancing group entitativity, or the degree to which a collection of entities is perceived as a unit (Lakens, 2010). Throughout these explanations for synchrony winds a common thread: the perception of synchrony, not just synchrony per se, is vital to the experience of synchrony as well as accompanying psychosocial outcomes (e.g., trust, rapport, cooperation, etc.; Bernieri et al., 1988;Tamborini et al., 2018;Wiltermuth & Heath, 2009). Increased attention to the behavior of other participants has been shown to moderate the impact of synchrony on cooperation, for instance (Reddish, 2012). ...
Article
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Interpersonal synchrony serves as a subtle, yet powerful bonding mechanism in social interactions. Problematically, the term ‘synchrony’ has been used to label a variety of distinct aspects of interpersonal coordination, such as postural similarities or movement activity entrainment. Accordingly, different algorithms have been suggested to quantify interpersonal synchrony. Yet, it remains unknown whether the different measures of synchrony represent correlated features of the same perceivable core phenomenon. The current study addresses this by comparing the suitability of a set of algorithms with respect to their association with observers’ judgments of dyadic synchrony and leader-followership. One-hundred fifteen observers viewed computer animations of characters portraying the movements of real dyads who performed a repetitive motor task with instruction to move in unison. Animations were based on full-body motion capture data synchronously collected for both partners during the joint exercise. Results showed most synchrony measures significantly correlated with (a) perceived synchrony and (b) the perceived level of balance of leading/following by each dyad member. Phase synchrony and Pearson correlations were associated most strongly with the observer ratings. This might be typical for intentional, structured forms synchrony such as ritualized group activities. It remains open if these findings also apply to spontaneous forms of synchrony as, for instance, occurring in free-running conversations.
... Given the important role motor synchrony and emotional contagion play in our social lives, having found these phenomena in virtual social interactions may assist in explaining the powerful effect of such interactions. Moreover, we found an increase in pro-social effects following synchronized virtual social interactions that is in accordance with previous ndings, suggesting an increase in pro-social effects following synchronized face-to-face interactions 13,14,18,19,[50][51][52][53] . Altogether, it seems that many social phenomena occurring in face-to-face interactions also occur in virtual social interactions. ...
Preprint
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Although the link between synchrony and emotional contagion has been studied extensively during face-to-face interaction, the question of whether this association also exists in virtual settings has remained unanswered. Here, we examined whether this link exists during virtual social interactions and whether pro-social effects will be induced during those interactions. To this end, two strangers shared difficulties they have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual social interaction. The findings revealed that spontaneous motor synchrony and emotional contagion can arise during a virtual social interaction between two strangers and that this kind of interaction has pro-social effects. It can thus be presumed that virtual social interactions may share similar characteristics and social effects with face-to-face interactions. Considering the tremendous changes COVID-19 epidemic has caused regarding social communication, these findings may provide grounds for developing new intervention protocols aiming at dealing with the consequences of social distancing.
... Given the important role motor synchrony and emotional contagion play in our social lives, having found these phenomena in virtual social interactions may assist in explaining the powerful effect of such interactions. Moreover, we found an increase in pro-social effects following synchronized virtual social interactions that is in accordance with previous ndings, suggesting an increase in pro-social effects following synchronized face-to-face interactions 13,14,18,19,[50][51][52][53] . Altogether, it seems that many social phenomena occurring in face-to-face interactions also occur in virtual social interactions. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although the link between synchrony and emotional contagion has been studied extensively during face-to-face interaction, the question of whether this association also exists in virtual settings has remained unanswered. Here, we examined whether this link exists during virtual social interactions and whether pro-social effects will be induced during those interactions. To this end, two strangers shared difficulties they have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic during a virtual social interaction. The findings revealed that spontaneous motor synchrony and emotional contagion can arise during a virtual social interaction between two strangers and that this kind of interaction has pro-social effects. It can thus be presumed that virtual social interactions may share similar characteristics and social effects with face-to-face interactions. Considering the tremendous changes COVID-19 epidemic has caused regarding social communication, these findings may provide grounds for developing new intervention protocols aiming at dealing with the consequences of social distancing.
... Although some found positive results, demonstrating that certain conditions can lead individuals to trust outgroup agents, these studies mostly provided evidence that participants are more likely to act more favorably toward ingroup than outgroup members in VEs. Tamborini et al. (2018) examined Black and white participants' behavioral synchronization in an Xbox Kinect dance game with Black or white agents. They found that stronger synchrony with an outgroup agent led to stronger outgroup trust (e.g., white participants dancing with Black agents). ...
Article
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Virtual environments (VEs) provide novel ways for users to experience computer generated people and places, which can be used by researchers to examine and reduce racial bias. However, unless researchers consider the systemtic structures of racial inequities when designing their simulations, they may unintentionally create experiences that could prime or entrench racist beliefs or attitudes. A critical Whiteness framework guides this systematic review of 20 years of prejudice and bias reduction research in VEs. Of the 68 articles, findings indicated that virtual experiences are a promising tool in anti-bias interventions. Future research must expand to more longitudinal, behaviorally focused studies while prioritizing predictive theoretical models and meaningfully reflecting on inclusive practices within the broader bias reduction space. We discuss best practices for future research in anti-bias and anti-prejudice in VEs.
... Based on findings of these intervention, increasing perceived variability of out-groups (e.g., Er-rafiy & Brauer, 2013) and imagined contact (e.g., Stathi et al., 2014) may serve as means of reducing prejudice and discrimination. Additionally, Interventions that are delivered in VR environments have yielded promising results with regard to conflict resolution and out-group trust by relying on practices such as immersive perspective-taking (e.g., Hasler et al., 2021) and behavioral synchrony (e.g., Tamborini et al., 2018). Despite the effectiveness of both VR technology and Wise Interventions in intergroup contexts, no study was found to implement these interventions towards modifying perceptions of low-warmth. ...
Research Proposal
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An intervention is proposed that utilizes wise interventions and VR technology to change low warmth perceptions of Iranians. To elaborate, VR technology will be used to provide participants with an immersive experience of walking in Iranian cities and interacting with cultural and ecological aspects of Iran. After this experience, participants will engage in a behavioral synchrony game with Iranian avatars, which is intended to increase perceptions of warmth. Upon completion of the game, participants will be prompted to actively reflect on their previous notions of Iran and Iranians and their experience in VR. The hypotheses are that (1) immersive experience of Iranian cities will increase perceived variability of Iran and positively influence attitudes towards Iran; (2) behavioral synchrony task increases perceptions of warmth towards Iranians (3) active reflection will positively influence attitudes toward Iran and perceptions of Iranians’ warmth.
Article
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When immersive virtual reality users employ digital self-representations, i.e., avatars, they may be subject to the Proteus effect. This effect describes changes in attitudes and behaviors in accordance with identity cues derived from the employed avatar’s appearance, which can persist after leaving virtual reality. Individual reactions to the experience can affect the strength of observed Proteus effects. Especially the experienced illusions of body ownership of avatars and of being in the virtual environment (spatial presence) have been discussed in this context. This study investigated a Proteus effect of avatar age on post-embodiment walking speed, with special focus on how body ownership and spatial presence moderated this effect. Participants who had previously embodied older avatars took significantly longer to walk a set distance than either young avatar or control group participants. This was only apparent during the first half of the walking phase, which may indicate fast decay rates of the effect after embodiment ended. The reported body ownership could not be shown to impact the strength of the Proteus effect. Participants reporting more pronounced spatial presence were subject to stronger Proteus effects, with only the two-thirds of the sample with higher spatial presence showing evidence of the effect.
Chapter
This work examines one possibility of using a deep neural network to control a virtual dance partner behavior. A neural-network-based system is designed and used for classification, evaluation, prediction, and generation of socially emotional behavior of a virtual actor. The network is trained using deep learning on the data generated with an algorithm implementing the eBICA cognitive architecture. Results show that, in the selected virtual dance paradigm, (1) the functionality of the cognitive model can be efficiently transferred to the neural network using deep learning, allowing the network to generate socially emotional behavior of a dance partner similar to a human participant behavior or the behavior generated algorithmically based on eBICA, and (2) the trained neural network can correctly identify the character types of virtual dance partners based on their behavior. When considered together with related studies, our findings lead to more general implications extending beyond the selected paradigm.KeywordsDeep neural networksCognitive architectureVirtual dance partnerSocially Emotional AgentsDeep learningLSTMMultilayer perceptron
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Standard economic theory does not capture trust among anonymous Internet traders. But when traders are allowed to have social preferences, uncertainty about a seller’s morals opens t he door for trust, reward, exploitation and reputation building. We report experiments suggesting that sellers’ intrinsic motivations to be trustworthy are not sufficient to sustain trade when not complemented by a feedback system. We demonstrate that it is the interaction of social preferences and cleverly designed reputation mechanisms that solves to a large extent the trust problem on Internet market platforms. However, economic theory and social preference models tend to underestimate the difficulties of promoting trust in anonymous online trading communities.
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Abstract This research examined virtual-human interactions as a new form of simulated contact between members of groups in conflict. A virtual human representing an outgroup member (a Palestinian) interacted with 60 Jewish Israeli participants in an experimental study. We manipulated postural mimicry by the virtual interaction partner during a conversation about a sensitive conflict issue. Mimicry increased empathy toward the Palestinians, irrespective of participants' feelings toward the Palestinians prior to the experiment. Further, mimicked participants who reported a priori negative feelings toward Palestinians expressed more sympathy toward their Palestinian virtual interaction partner, rated themselves as closer to him, and perceived the interaction as more harmonious compared to participants in a counter-mimicry condition. The results underscore the impact of mimicry on intergroup interactions, especially on individuals who harbor negative feelings toward the outgroup. The use of virtual-human interactions in obtaining this effect reveals the still widely unexplored potential of technology-enhanced conflict resolution.
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Abstract Often, virtual environments and video games have established goals, and to achieve them, users must either compete or cooperate with others. The common ingroup identity model predicts that individuals maintain multiple identities at any given time based on roles, demographics, and contextual factors, and that they interpret others based on similarity (i.e., perceived ingroup) or dissimilarity (i.e., perceived outgroup) to these identities. In this experiment, we manipulated two aspects of a virtual partner's identity-race and task collaboration-to determine how users would perceive others in a virtual world. White participants (N=99) played an anagram game competitively (outgroup) or cooperatively (ingroup) in a virtual environment with a black (outgroup) or white (ingroup) virtual partner. Contrary to hypotheses, performing either task led to more positive evaluations of black avatars than white avatars.
Article
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Previous research has shown that the matching of rhythmic behaviour between individuals (synchrony) increases cooperation. Such synchrony is most noticeable in music, dance and collective rituals. As well as the matching of behaviour, such collective performances typically involve shared intentionality: performers actively collaborate to produce joint actions. Over three experiments we examined the importance of shared intentionality in promoting cooperation from group synchrony. Experiment 1 compared a condition in which group synchrony was produced through shared intentionality to conditions in which synchrony or asynchrony were created as a by-product of hearing the same or different rhythmic beats. We found that synchrony combined with shared intentionality produced the greatest level of cooperation. To examinef the importance of synchrony when shared intentionality is present, Experiment 2 compared a condition in which participants deliberately worked together to produce synchrony with a condition in which participants deliberately worked together to produce asynchrony. We found that synchrony combined with shared intentionality produced the greatest level of cooperation. Experiment 3 manipulated both the presence of synchrony and shared intentionality and found significantly greater cooperation with synchrony and shared intentionality combined. Path analysis supported a reinforcement of cooperation model according to which perceiving synchrony when there is a shared goal to produce synchrony provides immediate feedback for successful cooperation so reinforcing the group's cooperative tendencies. The reinforcement of cooperation model helps to explain the evolutionary conservation of traditional music and dance performances, and furthermore suggests that the collectivist values of such cultures may be an essential part of the mechanisms by which synchrony galvanises cooperative behaviours.
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The present study was designed to test whether imagined intergroup contact (Crisp & Turner, 2009) affects attributions of human emotions to outgroup members and positive behavioral intentions toward the outgroup via increased outgroup trust. Italian fourth-graders took part in a three-week intervention, where they were asked to imagine meeting an unknown immigrant child in various social settings. One week after the last session, they were administered the dependent measures. Results revealed an indirect effect of imagined contact on both behavioral intentions and attributions of uniquely human emotions to outgroup members via outgroup trust. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed, and an integration of the imagined contact and infrahumanization literature is suggested.
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Humans are empathic animals. We automatically match other people's motor responses, allowing us to get “under the skin” of other people. Although this perception–action-coupling—a form of motor resonance—occurs spontaneously, this happens less readily with the outgroup (vs. the ingroup) and for those high (vs. low) in prejudice. Thus, prejudice diminishes our tendency to resonate with the outgroup. Here we suggest that the reverse is also possible—that resonating with the actions of an outgroup member can reduce prejudice. We predict, in other words, that explicitly mimicking the outgroup can reduce prejudice. Participants watched a 140-second video depicting actors repeatedly reaching for and drinking from a glass of water. They passively watched a video with Black actors; watched the video and mimicked the Black actors; or watched and mimicked a video with actors from their ingroup. Participants then completed the Affect Misattribution Procedure (Payne, Cheng, Govorun, & Stewart, 2005), a measure of implicit anti-Black prejudice, and an explicit symbolic racism measure. Results indicate that the outgroup-mimicry group had similar implicit preference for Blacks and Whites, unlike the other two groups, which preferred Whites over Blacks. The outgroup-mimicry group also reported less explicit racism towards Blacks than the ingroup-mimicry group, but no less than the ingroup-observation group. Mimicking specific outgroup members, therefore, reduces implicit, and possibly explicit, bias against the outgroup more generally.
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This chapter introduces the common ingroup identity model as a means of reducing intergroup bias. This model proposes that bias can be reduced by factors that transform members' perceptions of group boundaries from “us” and “them” to a more inclusive “we”. From this perspective, several features specified by the contact hypothesis (e.g. co-operative interaction) facilitate more harmonious intergroup interactions, at least in part, because they contribute to the development of a common ingroup identity. In this chapter, we describe laboratory and field studies that are supportive of the model; we also relate the model to earlier work on aversive racism.
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Human motion estimation is a topic receiving high attention during the last decades. There is a vast range of applications that employ human motion tracking, while the industry is continuously offering novel motion tracking systems, which are opening new paths compared to traditionally used passive cameras. Motion tracking algorithms, in their general form, estimate the skeletal structure of the human body and consider it as a set of joints and limbs. However, human motion tracking systems usually work on a single sensor basis, hypothesizing on occluded parts. We hereby present a methodology for fusing information from multiple sensors (Microsoft's Kinect sensors were utilized in this work) based on a series of factors that can alleviate from the problem of occlusion or noisy estimates of 3D joints' positions.
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Two experiments investigated the impact of group membership on non-conscious behavioral mimicry. Female participants viewed videotapes of female confederates who rubbed their faces whilst describing a picture. The extent to which the participant mimicked this face rubbing behavior was assessed from video footage taken using a hidden video-camera. Experiment 1 showed greater mimicry of a member of an in-group than of a member of an out-group. Experiment 2 showed both explicit and implicit liking of a target group to predict the extent of mimicry of a member of that group. There was a positive relationship between implicit liking and mimicry but a negative relationship between explicit liking and mimicry. Results are discussed in terms of processes underlying mimicry.
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Joint improvisation is the creative action of two or more people without a script or designated leader. Examples include improvisational theater and music, and day-to-day activities such as conversations. In joint improvisation, novel action is created, emerging from the interaction between people. Although central to creative processes and social interaction, joint improvisation remains largely unexplored due to the lack of experimental paradigms. Here we introduce a paradigm based on a theater practice called the mirror game. We measured the hand motions of two people mirroring each other at high temporal and spatial resolution. We focused on expert actors and musicians skilled in joint improvisation. We found that players can jointly create novel complex motion without a designated leader, synchronized to less than 40 ms. In contrast, we found that designating one player as leader deteriorated performance: The follower showed 2-3 Hz oscillation around the leader's smooth trajectory, decreasing synchrony and reducing the range of velocities reached. A mathematical model suggests a mechanism for these observations based on mutual agreement on future motion in mirrored reactive-predictive controllers. This is a step toward understanding the human ability to create novelty by improvising together.
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Perception and behavior are inextricably intertwined such that people automatically behave as they perceive. This "perception-behavior link" refers to the unintentional, nonconscious effects of social perception on social behavior. The perception of observables may activate specific behavioral representations, trait constructs, or stereotypes. Mimicry is a manifestation of the perception-behavior link at its most fundamental level. It is no more than copying another's observables and requires only the ability to perceive the behavior in the other person and the ability to form the behavior oneself. There is now considerable empirical evidence that people mimic a variety of observables, including speech, facial expressions, physical mannerisms, moods,and emotions. This chapter focuses on automatic imitation, which appears to be a result of the perception-behavior link. After reviewing the evidence for nonconscious mimicry, it explores the origins and utility of behavioral mimicry and argues that it serves a "social survival" function today. This chapter concludes that nonconscious mimicry may be an unidentified strategy in the repertoire of behaviors that help people get along with others.
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When two or more people coordinate their actions in space and time to produce a joint outcome, they perform a joint action. The perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes that enable individuals to coordinate their actions with others have been receiving increasing attention during the last decade, complementing earlier work on shared intentionality and discourse. This chapter reviews current theoretical concepts and empirical findings in order to provide a structured overview of the state of the art in joint action research. We distinguish between planned and emergent coordination. In planned coordination, agents' behavior is driven by representations that specify the desired outcomes of joint action and the agent's own part in achieving these outcomes. In emergent coordination, coordinated behavior occurs due to perception–action couplings that make multiple individuals act in similar ways, independently of joint plans. We review evidence for the two types of coordination and discuss potential synergies between them.
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To understand the evolution of a Theory of Mind, we need to understand the selective factors that might have jumpstarted its initial evolution. We argue that a subconscious, reflexive appreciation of others' intentions, emotions, and perspectives is at the roots of even the most complex forms of Theory of Mind and that these abilities may have evolved because natural selection has favored individuals that are motivated to empathize with others and attend to their social interactions. These skills are adaptive because they are essential to forming strong, enduring social bonds, which in turn enhance reproductive success. We first review evidence from both humans and other animals indicating that reflexive and reflective mental state attributions are inextricably linked and play a crucial role in promoting affiliative social bonds. We next describe results from free-ranging female baboons showing that individuals who show high rates of affiliative behavior form stronger social bonds with other females. These bonds, in turn, are linked to fitness. We then provide data from three different types of social challenges (male immigration, changes in grooming behavior after the death of a close relative, and responses during playback experiments), suggesting that females who manifest high rates of affiliative behavior may also be more motivated to anticipate challenges, react adaptively to setbacks, and respond appropriately to social interactions.
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Although it has been shown that immersive virtual reality (IVR) can be used to induce illusions of ownership over a virtual body (VB), information on whether this changes implicit interpersonal attitudes is meager. Here we demonstrate that embodiment of light-skinned participants in a dark-skinned VB significantly reduced implicit racial bias against dark-skinned people, in contrast to embodiment in light-skinned, purple-skinned or with no VB. 60 females participated in this between-groups experiment, with a VB substituting their own, with full-body visuomotor synchrony, reflected also in a virtual mirror. A racial Implicit Association Test (IAT) was administered at least three days prior to the experiment, and immediately after the IVR exposure. The change from pre- to post-experience IAT scores suggests that the dark-skinned embodied condition decreased implicit racial bias more than the other conditions. Thus, embodiment may change negative interpersonal attitudes and thus represent a powerful tool for exploring such fundamental psychological and societal phenomena.
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Allport (1954) recognized that attachment to one's ingroups does not necessarily require hostility toward outgroups. Yet the prevailing approach to the study of ethnocentrism, ingroup bias, and prejudice presumes that ingroup love and outgroup hate are reciprocally related. Findings from both cross-cultural research and laboratory experiments support the alternative view that ingroup identification is independent of negative attitudes toward outgroups and that much ingroup bias and intergroup discrimination is motivated by preferential treatment of ingroup members rather than direct hostility toward outgroup members. Thus to understand the roots of prejudice and discrimination requires first of all a better understanding of the functions that ingroup formation and identification serve for human beings. This article reviews research and theory on the motivations for maintenance of ingroup boundaries and the implications of ingroup boundary protection for intergroup relations, conflict, and conflict prevention.
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Humanoid social robots are predicted to interact with humans in various domains of social life as robot technology keeps advancing. One area for understanding the impact of robots on human society is interracial relations. Would robots constitute a nonhuman outgroup to trigger human ingroup favoritism which will confine the boundary of racial prejudice? A study (N = 105) assessed Whites’ rank-ordered preferences for 15 White, Black and robot computer-synthesized characters. Explicit racial prejudice positively predicted White versus Black character preferences for liking and as one’s avatar, virtual friend, and virtual tutor. The implicit racial prejudice, measured with the Implicit Association Test (IAT), provided additional predictive utility for virtual friend. Among the 64 participants who reported minimal interest in robots, explicit racial prejudice negatively predicted preferences for Black over robot characters, showing a pattern that individuals with high prejudice preferred robot characters over Black ones. The results suggest alarming strength of racial prejudice and cast doubt on the notion of all-human ingroup favoritism in comparison to robots.
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Reputation scores and seller photos are regarded as two types of signals promoting trust in e-commerce. Little is known about their differential impact when co-occurring in online transactions. Using a computer-mediated trust game, the current study combined three photo conditions (trustworthy, untrustworthy and no seller photo) with three reputation conditions (positive, negative and no seller reputation) in a 3×3 within-subject design. Buyers' ratings of trust and number of purchases served as dependent variables. Significant main effects were found for reputation scores and photos on both dependent variables and there was no interaction effect. Trustworthy photos and positive reputation contributed towards buyers' trust and higher purchase rates. Surprisingly, neither untrustworthy photos nor negative reputation performed worse than missing information. On the contrary, completely missing information (no reputation, no photo) led to distrust and differed significantly from completely negative information (low reputation, untrustworthy photo), which resulted in a neutral trust level. Overall, the data suggest that not only does positive information increase trust, but mere uncertainty reduction regarding a seller can also contribute towards trust in online transactions.
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Two experiments investigated the hypothesis that strategic behavioral mimicry can facilitate negotiation outcomes. Study 1 used an employment negotiation with multiple issues, and demonstrated that strategic behavioral mimicry facilitated outcomes at both the individual and dyadic levels: Negotiators who mimicked the mannerisms of their opponents both secured better individual outcomes, and their dyads as a whole also performed better when mimicking occurred compared to when it did not. Thus, mimickers created more value and then claimed most of that additional value for themselves, though not at the expense of their opponents. In Study 2, mimicry facilitated negotiators’ ability to uncover underlying compatible interests and increased the likelihood of obtaining a deal in a negotiation where a prima facie solution was not possible. Results from Study 2 also demonstrated that interpersonal trust mediated the relationship between mimicry and deal-making. Implications for our understanding of negotiation dynamics and interpersonal coordination are discussed.
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Reviews research regarding the effects of intergroup contact on ethnic relations. The investigations discussed include both intra- and cross-cultural studies involving contact between various ethnic groups. The principles and generalizations emerging from these studies are categorized under (1) opportunities for contact, (2) the principle of equal status, (3) contact with high-status representatives of a minority group, (4) cooperative and competitive factors, (5) casual vs. intimate contact, (6) institutional support, (7) personality factors, and (8) direction and intensity of initial attitude. The major generalization derived from the present review is that changes in ethnic relations do occur following intergroup contact, but the nature of this change is not necessarily in the anticipated direction; "favorable" conditions do tend to reduce prejudice, but "unfavorable" conditions may increase intergroup tension and prejudice. Ethnic attitudes may also change in their intensity, and they may be limited to specific areas of the ethnic attitude and not be generalized to other aspects of the intergroup relationships. Some practical applications are also considered. (2 p. ref.)
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The chameleon effect refers to nonconscious mimicry of the postures, mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviors of one's interaction partners, such that one's behavior passively and unintentionally changes to match that of others in one's current social environment. The authors suggest that the mechanism involved is the perception-behavior link, the recently documented finding (e.g., J. A. Bargh, M. Chen, & L. Burrows, 1996) that the mere perception of another's behavior automatically increases the likelihood of engaging in that behavior oneself. Experiment 1 showed that the motor behavior of participants unintentionally matched that of strangers with whom they worked on a task. Experiment 2 had confederates mimic the posture and movements of participants and showed that mimicry facilitates the smoothness of interactions and increases liking between interaction partners. Experiment 3 showed that dispositionally empathic individuals exhibit the chameleon effect to a greater extent than do other people.
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Recent studies have shown that mimicry occurs unintentionally and even among strangers. In the present studies, we investigated the consequences of this automatic phenomenon in order to learn more about the adaptive function it serves. In three studies, we consistently found that mimicry increases prosocial behavior. Participants who had been mimicked were more helpful and generous toward other people than were nonmimicked participants. These beneficial consequences of mimicry were not restricted to behavior directed toward the mimicker, but included behavior directed toward people not directly involved in the mimicry situation. These results suggest that the effects of mimicry are not simply due to increased liking for the mimicker, but are due to increased prosocial orientation in general.
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In research on the determinants of change in health status, a crucial analytic decision is whether to adjust for baseline health status. In this paper, the authors examine the consequences of baseline adjustment, using for illustration the question of the effect of educational attainment on change in cognitive function in old age. With data from the US-based Assets and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old survey (n = 5,726; born before 1924), they show that adjustment for baseline cognitive test score substantially inflates regression coefficient estimates for the effect of schooling on change in cognitive test scores compared with models without baseline adjustment. To explain this finding, they consider various plausible assumptions about relations among variables. Each set of assumptions is represented by a causal diagram. The authors apply simple rules for assessing causal diagrams to demonstrate that, in many plausible situations, baseline adjustment induces a spurious statistical association between education and change in cognitive score. More generally, when exposures are associated with baseline health status, this bias can arise if change in health status preceded baseline assessment or if the dependent variable measurement is unreliable or unstable. In some cases, change-score analyses without baseline adjustment provide unbiased causal effect estimates when baseline-adjusted estimates are biased.
Cultures of trust: Effects of avatar faces and reputation scores on German and Arab players in an online trust game
  • G Bente
  • T Dratsch
  • K Kaspar
  • T Häßler
  • O Bungard
  • A Issa
Bente, G., Dratsch, T., Kaspar, K., Häßler, T., Bungard, O., & Al-Issa, A. (2014). Cultures of trust: Effects of avatar faces and reputation scores on German and Arab players in an online trust game. PLoS ONE, 9(8): e107075. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107075
Held as Part of HCI International
Business-First International Conference, HCIB 2014, Held as Part of HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014. Proceedings (Vol. 8527, pp. 461-470).
Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination at the seam between the centuries: Evolution, culture, mind, and brain
  • S T Fiske
Fiske, S. T. (2000). Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination at the seam between the centuries: Evolution, culture, mind, and brain. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30(3), 299-322. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-0992(200005/06)30:3<299::AID-EJSP2>3.0.CO;2-F
An experimental study of a dance video game on racial attitudes of African Americans
  • J Slaker
  • R Ratan
Slaker, J. & Ratan, R. (2015). An experimental study of a dance video game on racial attitudes of African Americans. Proceedings of the International Communications Association 2015, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Do you trust my avatar? Effects of photo-realistic seller avatars and reputation scores on trust in online transactions
  • G Bente
  • T Dratsch
  • S Rehbach
  • M Reyl
  • B Lushaj
Bente, G., Dratsch, T., Rehbach, S., Reyl, M., & Lushaj, B. (2014). Do you trust my avatar? Effects of photo-realistic seller avatars and reputation scores on trust in online transactions. In F. Fui-Hoon Nah (Ed.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science. HCI in Business -First International Conference, HCIB 2014, Held as Part of HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014. Proceedings (Vol. 8527, pp. 461-470). Cham: Springer.